.^""^.^^ ^.^^ ^^^'^'^..^"^.^"^.y^
Crail 0f t|e^Hi|fiiihn
• < ^» > »-
DAYTON AND BUR DICK,
29 ANN STEEET.
Crail 0f %lat|fnikr.
DAYTON AND BUR DICK
29 ANN STREET.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S56, by
DAYTON AND BUEDICK,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Southern District of New York.
DAVIES AND ROBERTS,
201 William Street, New York.
%Mt fsi €auints.
DEDICATI03N- * 6
the hour and the man 9
born hero 14
gallant loves 15
the nebraska bison-hunt 18
the decision 30
the choice 39
the south pass 43
Fremont's peak 47
TO " BROMUS," ON FREMONT's PEAK 61
THE cross on rock INDEPENDENCE 54
THE CANON 60
[y TABLE OF CONTENTS.
RUNNING THE CANON G7
THE STAND AT HAWk's PEAK 73
A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH 78
BASIL LAJEUNESSE. A THRENODY 88
DEFEAT OF THE WAH-LAH-WAH-LAHS 91
THE RIDE OF ONE HUNDRED 101
CONQUEST ENDED 107
TO CAPTAIN J. C. FREMONT. FROM THE SPANISH. . 113
FAREWELL TO " SACRAMENTO" 116
THE PRAIRIE CAMP 121
SEQUEL TO THE PRAIRIE CAMP 132
THE OATH 136
BACKING OF FRIENDS 139
CROSSING THE WAHSACH . . 142
DEFERRED, NOT LOST 145
I SPEAK to you, TouisTG Meh ! for ye are strong,
And, iDeing strong, ye should De merciful,
And WISE withal, to hattle against wrong
That so the downfall of her citadel
Mar not the pillared fanes where true hearts throng,
And sacred memories veiled in silence dwell.
Gleanas of a Life, like watchfires on our hills,
Throhs of a heart that dared what man may dare,
Who conquered hut to save, and bowed stern wills
^y pi"ty, teaching triumph to forhear —
These are my Song — our Hope — and the Despair
Of anarch Misrule ; — let them he to you
As glorious banners in the storm-rent air —
As pulses of new life, heroic, calm, and true.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Boston Library Consortium IVIember Libraries
If any open this Volume who have not read some one of
the Lives of Fremont, the writer can only desire that
they would do so, first of all, and then return to these
pages with a witness, which will compel them to confess
that poetic en'-husiasm has not carried him beyond the
The Life of a public man is our possession, for good or
'11 ; and where it seems preeminently for good, as with the
case in hand, there is something more than propriety in
making use of it.
It is believed that the passing of the momentary interest
which has brought the name of Frem(jnt before us, will
not diminish the permanent value which it bears for all,
and especially for the young, who are just entering the
ranks in the rigid Battle of Life.
These Poems are offered at this time, not only for the
perennial excellence of the Subject, but equally for the
vital interest of the Moment. The crisis before us is one
which puts a new aspect on the whole political world.
The Scholar, the Poet, the Plowman, the Man of Business,
and the Man of Leisure, have all an interest visibly at
stake; and all seem conscious of the vitality of that
No mere political question ever lias called out, hor per-
haps ever can call out, sucli an array of combined moral
and mental forces, as tliat wMcli lias already taken the
field for National Regeneration; and the tide seems only
If this writer could flatter himself that his effort would
in some degree swell the tide-waves of that setting flood,
and strengthen the force that would repel the aggressions
of Slavery, he could easily forego the hope of a permanent
value in his work, or any concern for the criticism of non-
combatant friends, who fancy that to crush the aggressive
element of Slavery touches not its vitality ; as if its very
essence was not aggression.
The success or failure of the present movement will not
reach the heroic worth of the subject, nor the permanent
character of the most of these Poems ; where the exigen-
cies of the case have crowded the task of a longer period
into some fourteen days — but to our Country the question
is of vast importance. The success which Freedom has a
right to expect, at the hands of her lovers, will be the
turning-point in the long history of her disasters — hence-
forth to become the story of her steady and unceasing
progress toward perfect victory.
In the faith that such is the crisis, and the hope that
these gleams from a noble life may add one ray to the new
dawn, they are flung out, and committed to their fate, by
THE HOUR AND THE MAN.
There are times of bodeful peril, in the story of
When the shadow of some awful doom reels, like
Of Ahaz, back in darkness across its glory's path,
No more a sign of promise, but Jehovah's frown
As the earth's white blood sinks, curdling, from
veined fount and well.
When the cramps of earthquake spasms her in-
ward anguish tell,
10 THE HOUE AND THE MAN.
So the full heart of a people, with a moment's
Predicts the moral tempest and the passion's
Wo worth the hope of nations, if in that awful
They read not well the judgment signs that darkly-
round them lower ;
And wo, if, when the storm is come upon the
A brave right-hand, like iron, hold not the shud-
dering helm !
No stripling's milky fingers, in tender nonage soft,
May nail the nation's banner where the tempest
howls aloft ;
No graybeard's old and palsied hand, that shakes
his life-sands faster.
May grasp the helm, and o'er the waves ride reg-
nant, as their master !
But the nerves of fiery Manhood, in many a dan-
THE IIOUE AND THE MAN. H
With the quick blood of young valor, to the cahn
of years allied,
With the hero's eagle glances, and the sage's
Mark the Leader called by Providence to peril's
We are drifting on the breakers, where the whiten-
ing water rolls,
And the beat of hearts prophetic as a solemn surf-
bell tolls ;
While the yeasty wrath of millions that warring
Boils under, and breaks round us — a Maelstrom's
Thank God ! the land is rousing, like a giant from
its sleep ;
Heart leaps to heart responsive, " deep answering
to deep ;"
The pulses of Humanity have swelled the civic
And a cry of " Freedom !" thunders from the
mountains and the plains.
12 THE HOUR AND THE MAN.
Thank God ! that whiie the Hour is struck, we
have the living Man
To bear our eagle banner against the spoiler's
Strong hand to wield the wavering helm, warm
heart, and coolest brain,
Heroic Sage, wise Hero^ — a crowned soul again !
Bold Nursling of the Mountains that rear the
brave and free.
Our nation's periled fortunes are, under God, with
Our earthly hope is in thee by a rescued People
Strong in their true hearts round thee, in a living
Ah, wo ! if through our blindness, or the hope of
We see not in thy coming the finger of the Lord ;
Then darker, and yet darker, along our downward
Must gloom our night of ruin, till we strike the
solid black !
THE HOUR AND THE MAN. 13
But no ! a nation's fiat is going forth to-day,
" Thus far, oh, human bondage, and here thy
waves must stay ;
We have lifted up our banner, that, like a tongue
Calls Fremont to the victory, with Freedom in
his name /"
Great souls are tlieir own fate, and but the strong
Are the pre-destined : in a conquerless
And wise Will works the magic of success ;
Tower-high invites the lightning, mountain-high
Soars above thunder in a cloudless sky,
And spreads below the mining sap of wrong.
Such is the Hero on whose brows belong
The regal wreaths of natural sovereignty,
Around whose footsteps well the springs of Song,
And whose calm paths are steep with majesty.
Climb there who will, they can not hold him back ;
His eye is upward, and his foot is firm ;
He rears wronged Honor to his eagle track.
And dates anew old Right's expiring term.
We love the Lover who dares to love
High beauty by peril guarded ;
Your fabled Dragon, whose jaws are rough
With serrate fangs below and above,
Or the proud sire's wrath — a sterner stuff !
Has spurr'd him, but not retarded.
We love the Beauty whose heart is true
To a Hero yet unlaureled,
The old affection, to kindred due,
Still dear, but holier yet the new
That buoys her up — and has borne her through,
Though rival empires quarreled !
IQ GALLANT L0YE8.
Our hearts throb luminous as a star,
To gladden " Lord Ullin's Daughter ;"
Like his steed they leap with " young Lochinvar,"
And exult as the Viking's keel afar
His foes' " black hulk," with a thunder-jar.
Drives down through the night-" black water."
But a better triumph earns the meed
Of his nobler praise, who, rather.
By the wise man's word, and the hero's deed,
Can twine with olive his Spartan reed,
And, led by Beauty, can conquer and feed
The Pride of an angry father !
Then give us one cheer for old Romance,
Wild riding with wilder chases.
One round for the victor's spur and lance ;
But peals, redoubled to heaven's expanse.
With our Leader's name, till the white clouds dance ;
And a three-times-three for Jessie's !
Ah, Beauty's eye in its love-light hath
Some gleam of a gift prophetic ;
She knew the valor that dared the wrath
GALLANT LOVES. 17
Of Power and Honor, could find a path
To both, unawed by peril and scath,
Unallured by lights erratic.
By her own worth, which his worth could win,
She crowned him as very worthy ;
And thy Hearts, oh, grateful Land ! begin
To echo her voice, with a choral din,
With the old man's pride and her love mixed in
The shout that is pealing o'er thee !
Ah, never may gallant loves know shame :
True-heart the true heart blesses,
We hail the Lovers with glad acclaim,
Whose white love conquers untouched of blame —
Then a double cheer for our Leader's name !
And three times three for Jessie's !
THE NEBRASKA BISON HUNT
In the Camp of the bold Pathfinder
The morning fires are burning,
And bearded men, knelt round them,
The beechen spits are turning ;
A savory steam is clouding
The keen air of the dawn ;
Their eager nostrils snuflf it in,
And white through the shaggy moustache grin
The expectant teeth of the Creole man.
And the wiry, swart Canadian,
Around the camp-fires drawn.
From the far-off western mountains
The winds come, hissing and cold,
THE NEBRASKA BISON HUNT. jg
Though over the eastern levels run
The fluid fires of a July sun,
Across the prairie, sere and dun,
Flashing in purple and gold.
Sun-rayed, the bright Helianthus
Is turning tow^ard its God,
And its million golden blossoms
To the rising Splendor nod.
The clumps of the tough Artemisia,
With their wiry twigs intwined,
Turn white like the ocean breakers,
In the ruffling western wind.
And a healthful odor of camphor and fir.
Is loosed by the silvery leaflets' stir,
That fills the air as a censer of myrrh
In the gorgeous fanes of Indj
The weary voyageurs drink the balm.
And the breath they breathe is full and calm,
With the vigor it leaves behind.
Far off, in the glow of the sunrise,
In threads of a hazy blue,
The smoke of the Pawnee wigwams
20 THE NEBRASKA BISON fltJNT.
Has dimmed their homeward \dew ;
But their hearts are with their Leader,
Whom the Mountain Spirits call
To find the Path of Empire
Across their rocky wall ;
And their faces are set westward
To the ever-deepening wild,
Where the serpent lurks in wood and fen,
With savage beasts and savage men,
And cataracts thunder down the glen,
Where winds their path on slippery jags.
Round cavernous pits, over toppling crags.
And down the rocks in ruin piled.
Rich " humps" of the roasted bison.
Before that hungry crew,
With cans of the fragrant " Java,"
Have vanished like the dew.
With the first blush of the dawning.
The young Day's virgin glow,
They had loosed the picketed horses,
And let the oxen go
To graze by the Shallow River,
And drink of its limpid flow.
THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT. 21
Now hark, to the voice of the Leade
They joyfully obey —
" My lads ! I have seen the promise
Of a gallant ride to-day ;
Ho ! saddle the fiery hunters,
My lightning-shod Proveau,
And a brace for my brave riders,
We'll charge the buffalo !
Keep v^^atch and ward, my trusty men,
For the steeds may break to the herd agen.
Or meet, anear some woody glen.
The Pawnee Loup's lasso.
" Come on ! my gallant Maxwell ;
I hear the sullen roar
Of a herd that darkens all the plain,
A murmur as of the windy main
Far off on a rocky shore :
Come on ! my true Kit Carson ;
Pve lads more brawny and tall.
But the crack of that trusty rifle
Proclaims the victim's fall.
We three will ride together,
Hurled on that grazing herd, '
22 THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT.
Like a triple bolt of thunder
From the talons of Jove's Bird.
" Charge over the broad Nebraska,
With scarcely the fetlocks wet ;
And slowly up against the gale,
That else might whisper them the tale
Of a coming foe, we'll take the trail,
And spot the fairest yet !"
Right over the broad Nebraska,
With scarcely the fetlocks wet.
They dashed, and slowly up the plain.
With steeds impatient of the rein.
Drew nigh, some vantage-ground to gair
Ere to the hills the startled train
In a roaring flood-tide set.
By Heaven ! it was a goodly view
That opened on their sight !
As far as eye could pierce the blue.
From all that waving plain, it drew
A terrible delight !
One boundless sea of murmuring life
THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT. 23
Along the prairie lay,
With here and there a whirl of strife,
Of the shaggy bulls in fray —
An eddy of battle, roaring loud
Above the hum of the moving crowd,
With the white dust for its spray.
Far to the north the dusky tide
Rolled on the purple hills ;
And thronging down the river-side,
It seemed the river itself they dried.
As it crept, along its channel wide.
In a thousand trickling rills.
They paused but a breathless moment
Before that grand array.
When rang the voice of the Leader
So proudly they obey —
'' Hurrah ! the deep tide wavers !
They have snuffed the coming foe ;
Like billow on heaving billow.
Their refluent surges flow.
Far off they have caught the terror,
And louder, and more loud.
24 THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT.
Swells up the sea-like murmur,
As toward the hills they crowd.
Now pick your game, Kit Carson*!
Yon huge dun cow is mine ;
Now, gallant Maxwell, pick your game ;
With a ringing yell, and a rush like flame.
We'll break the roaring line !"
Untouched by the goading rowels,
With only the rein let go,
Like the plunge of a swooping eagle
Flew fiery-eyed Proveau.
Kit Carson's snorting charger
Rained down his hoofs like hail ;
But the steed of gallant Maxwell
Blazed by like a comet's tail!
For a moment, as an army
Charged fiercely front and flank,
The dense mass reeled and wavered.
From surging rank to rank ;
In a moment, gulfing inward.
They bared a narrow pass.
Where, as the bold pursuers rushed,
THE NEBirASKA BISON HUNT. 25
The shaggy brutes, together crushed,
Rolled bellowing on the grass — -
Brute over brute piled on the plain,
As away, like a desert hurricane,
Swept all the roaring mass !
A rumbling earthquake shook the ground.
Where the cloudy path of their multitudes wound,
And the clash of their horns was like the sound
Of a battle-field, when swords rebound
From bucklers and helms of brass.
Upright for a single moment.
The Leader's figure proud.
Was seen, with his leveled rifle.
In a dusty thunder-cloud.
The fire of his deadly rifle
Rang down the wild retreat,
And the dun cow, fierce and shaggy.
Lay lifeless at his feet.
But away like a hungry tiger —
His nostrils snorting flame,
And his eyeballs fiercely flashing—
That Hunter charged the game.
The wild bulls turned to gore him^
26 THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT.
With their dust and anger blind,
But lightly over them with a bound,
He bore his rider, safe and sound,
Or eagerly on, like a swift bloodhound,
For a better prey he swept away,
And left them far behind.
Oh, a gallant steed was fleet Proveau,
Who knew his Rider as heroes know
The Demigods they meet below —
By a sympathy of mind !
At home in the thickest perils,
The dauntless Mountaineer,
With a hand that never trembled
From the fiery flask, nor fear.
Sent death to the plunging monsters
Along his wild career,
Till, unaware, from either hand,
Rushed, from the cloud-enveloped band,
A fierce twain, terrible and grand.
Full on his front and rear!
Reeled the wild charger, vaulting high,
With something like a human cry
When terror blends with agony ;
. THE NEBRASKA BISOISr HUNT. 27
Shunning the deadly thrust,
Aside he plunged from either wound,
And horse and rider, with one wild bound,
Went headlong to the dust ;
While dashing together as rock to rock,
The mad brutes met with a stunning shock,
And rolled in death on the gory sod,
A double prize, by the gift of God,
To the periled rider just.
Up rose the Guide from his stirrup freed,
Up rose, with a leap, his treacherous steed,
And dashed away, with a frighted speed.
Where the choking cloud and the sullen roar
W^ere all that told, in a moment more.
His path, and theirs who had gone before.
" By Heaven !" cried Maxwell, leaping
From his game to his courser fleet,
" I'll bring you a steed, Kit Carson,
You stand but ill on feet !"
Away, away, like a shooting star,
He flashed and dashed, with a " Hip ! hurrah !"
Right after the trembling thunder-jar,
28 THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT.
A moment seen, then, lost, afar
In the dust-cloud rolling black ;
And ere the first-drawn bison's hide
In the blazing sun grew crisp and dried,
Slowly over the brown hill-side,
By the glittering rein to his saddle tied,
He brought the fugitive back.
In the Camp of the bold Pathfinder
Was food enough that day.
And the voyageurs felt their Leader
A Power in their perilous way.
Where danger itself was a pastime,
And the battle of Life a play !
We have called him for our Leader
In the charge on a fiercer foe.
That forth to the shallow Nebraska
Rolls on, with a darker flow.
Than ever rolled the sea-like swell
Of the herded buffalo !
On the bounding pulse of a People's heart.
THE NEBRASKA BISON HUNT. 29
We'll bear him to his nobler part,
As on his proud Proveau ;
And the charging cry of our host shall be
One long, loud shout, from sea to sea,
" Free men, Fremont and Victory !
Charge ! and God speed it so 1"
The Explorer's tents stood, dim by night,
Beneath the guns of Laramie,
Whose guarded walls of gleaming white.
The last defense of civil right,
Clove the red sea of savagery.
To bare a pathway for the free.
Through thick'ning perils, day by day.
Along the broad Nebraska's side,
The hardy band had kept their way.
That toward the gates of sunset lay,
Where far and wide, in hoary pride.
High Heaven the Titan hills defied.
THE DECISION. 32
An atom, on the Prairie's sea,
Whose rocky shore no eye could span,
Where savage wolf, and Wolf-Pawnee,
Like rav'ning sharks roved, fierce and free —
With loaded wain, mule, horse, and man,
Slow moved the westering caravan.
Still lengthening out, a thousand miles
Of hill and rock and desert track,
To wife's caress, and infant's smiles,
To vine arcades, and garden aisles.
Stretched far aback, behind the black
Night bastions of this bivouac.
" Return !" the home-bound Hunter cried,
Plis ranks in savage battle torn ;
" On desert wilds our steeds have died.
Our brothers fallen by our side.
Our Leader, borne in death, we mourn ;
Back, ere your widows wail forlorn !"
'^ Waugh ! Long Knives ! to your lodges back !
But once the Bell-snake's'^ warning rings ;
* " Serpent t SonnetteSj" the Eattlesnake.
32 '^HE DECISION,
No grass along your further track ;
Your beasts will fall, your pulses slacks
By dusty springs, where lurks and stings
The serpent with invisible wings !"
The wily Indian's snaky eye
Ran down the lines, with such a smile
As bodes no good— who dashing by,
Spoke thuSj and waited no reply ;
A little while, and many a mile
Concealed that riddling Priest of guile.
" Alas !" the terror-smitten cried,
" For us there will be life no more ;
A sea of peril, far and wide,
Surrounds our band, on every side,
And all before without a shore,
It darkens, red with human gore !"
" Return ! beloved of God and man,
Tempt not too far a jealous Fate !"
In sooth the very Braves began
To feel that timid flutter fan
Their hearts, with great Designs elate^
To thoughts that owned them desperate.
THE DECISION. 33
Not SO tlie Leader ! calm and stern,
And star-like in his deep blue eye,
Fixed Resolution seemed to burn,
Where even the weakest heart might learn
A couraoe hiph, that dared to die
For Duty, but would never fly.
" Return who will return, I go !"
He said, and Westward tossed his hand.
" No limbs that quake before a foe,
No timid heart of forest doe,
Shall shame the Band that opes the grand
Rock portals of this Western Land !
" Return who will return ! but you
Who march with me, for life or death,
Strike tent and harness ! ere the dew
Quit yonder blooms of red and blue."
Light moment hath a little breath.
Against a Hero's heart and faith !
They shout ! they leap ! no time to sit.
No thought to turn again, nor stop ;
Down fall the tents like birds alit,
34 THE DECISION.
And steeds are champing at the bit ;
One parting sup, the " stirrup-cup,"
Then to the river, on, and up !
" Hold, Brothers ! lo, the speaking Leaf."
And round the Leader of our band
Rushed many a tall and stalwart chief,
With greeting thus abrupt and brief,
And outstretched hand, which meant command,
Though tempered with their smiling bland.
Adorned with gaudy paint and plumes,
And arrows of the Porcupine,
Their garments, rank with musky fumes.
Had taxed no palpitating looms —
Yet tall and fine, they seemed divine
As swar V 2:ods of Woden's line.
Chief oi the chiefs, in silence sat
Breaker-of-ArxH.ows, stout and grim,
Black-Night thick browed, and Otter-Hat
The vain, and Bull's-Tail, plumed with that.
In sooth, to him, as fair and trim
As " Horsetails" to the Musselim !
" Return," the White Leaf said, " return !
These Chiefs your onward march forbid.
Their Braves have gone to scalp and burn.
And none may 'scape their vengeance stern :
As well the kid might hope to thrid
The lair-paths where the wolves are hid."
" Wot God," a hoary Sachem said,
" We love you well, and are right glad
To greet you, but upon your head
May fall the blood your kinsmen shed ;
The time is bad, our warriors, mad,
Will bide no check, till blood be had.
" Go to our father's house in peace,
And tell him we are poor and bare- —
That in good gifts this hate will cease,
For he is rich in all increase,
And in his care our tribes shall fare,
As fits the sire whose sons we are."
So spake the Chief in wiles expert,
And thus our dauntless Heart replied :
" Small sway your reverend lips assert,
36 "^HE DECISION.
If whom you love your own dare hurt !
We ask a guide, and are denied ;
What love is that— ^oo weak to ride !
" We will not hear your double tongue ;
Ye are our father's sons no more ;
We heard your evil fame, among
The dove-cotes, by the swallows sung ;
And now with gore, it darkens o'er
Our vision, redder than before.
" Our youths are tutored to obey ;
We hear the words our Old Men speak ;
They bade us track descending Day
Across the mountain's rocky way,
His bed to seek — and you^ too weak
To ride or rule, what boots your check ?
" We've thrown our bodies to the gales,
And we will not turn back, nor swerve !
And many a lodge will ring with wails,
And many a youth sleep on their trails,
If once they nerve our hands, to serve
The vengeance evil deeds deserve.
THE DECISION. 37
" If fall we must, as fall we may,
Your grief will join the loud ' Alas !'
Our father's wrath, in one red day,
Will sweep your villages away,
A smoking mass, like prairie grass,
When the swift fires of autumn pass !"
He spoke, and down the ready line
A cheer of answering courage ran.
The faintest heart's-blood flashed like wine,
As the waved hand's advancing sign
Led oiT the van — and, horse and man,
On moved the westering caravan.
The gloomy Chiefs, with silent awe,
And hearts that inly cheered the Brave,
His dauntless mien and action saw,
And felt his fiery soul as law :
Ere day's spent wave its shores could lave,
Sped to his camp the Guide they gave !
Thus he unlocked the Mountain Gate ;
And the proud trophy of Success
38 THE DECISION.
Wrung from the niggard hand of Fate,
Till jealous nations named him Great ;
And realms no less, shall rise, to bless
His memory, in the wilderness !
Heaven's horologe points forward on its way,
To-morrow's simrise brings not back to-day.
The hour once struck shall never strike agen,
For laggard nations nor the souls of men.
Once in a life, it may be once alone.
Comes the stern fiat, " Do, or be undone !"
The hour, the moment, when a single word
Will strike the doom-bell, once forever heard
That rings a Hero to his golden crown,
Or to oblivion tolls the Dastard down.
40 THE CHOICE.
Whatever sod his after steps may beat,
They tread the pathway of that hour's defeat,
Or, through the windings of unfathomed time,
To the full measure of its triumph climb.
No seeming fortune's momentary smile,
That crowns his brow with sunshine for a while.
Though giddy fools rush in with joys elate
To catch the golden droppings of his fate,
Shall ripen laurels at a glorious goal,
For him once branded " Craven," in his soul.
No seeming failure's supercilious frown,
That dims the daystar of his first renown.
Till his dark path is veiled in utter gloom,
Where boding ravens croak the v/ords of doom-
While hearts of fear, and base-born parasites,
Fly from the dark, and flit round lovi^er lights —
Can stain the splendors of his aureole.
Once written " Hero" on his living soul.
Since the bright stars that chronicle our fates
Only right forward swing their golden gates.
And souls, once gone on their returnless track,
What good they left, forevermore shall lack —
THE CHOICE. 41
With this great hope, the nobler lives they live
Thenceforth, may win some bliss compensative —
Since erring nations, in an evil way
Can only speed to premature decay,
And to-day's guerdon must be won to-day- —
Old graves are vocal, and the whirlpool-rocks
Wreck-beaconed murmur o'er their thunder-shocks,
The solemn voices of the immortal dead,
And the wild moan of wasted lives, ill-sped,
Swell the deep warning of the living Seer,
Choose well to-day your unrevoked career !
Now is the Crisis ; the dead Past is gone,
And the swift Present seals her page anon ;
This moment's action plants the good or ill
That, ages hence, will flourish greenly still.
And if to-day we reap the bitter tares
Our fathers sowed, self-willed or unawares,
With more hot earnest speaks the warning voice
To snatch this moment's unreturning choice,
To strike the furrow by the rigid line
Of human rights, which are indeed " divine,"
And fling broad-handed, over all the plain,
42 THE CHOICE.
The golden seeds of truth and right again —
Freedom for all — the inviolable cot,
With its free fields, a consecrated spot.
And a broad charter for excursive thought
To seek new truth, and speak the truth she sought.
So the great Future may not learn to curse
A niggard toil that cultured bad to worse ;
But bless the hands that to her children gave
A teeming glebe unblighted by a slave,
And the fair boon of souls who dare to be
What God would have them, fearless, true, and free.
THE SOUTH PASS.
'Tis but the opening step that costs,
For labor, love, or laurel ;
With corn that dared the vernal frosts
The autumnal never quarrel.
The Rubicon of Laramie,
Passed bravely by the ranger,
None doubted then his foot to see
Victorious over danger.
And, now the mighty goal is won —
That Portal of the Mountains,
Where forth to either ocean run
The floods of rival fountains —
44 THE SOUTH PASS.
No rugged rocks' gigantic mass,
• No fathomless abysses,
Confound the vasty mountain-pass.
With horrent precipices.
By endless slopes of climbing plain,
O'er-starred with blooming Asters,
The foot, unconscious of its strain.
The towering summit masters :
Ascent as easy to subdue,
When on the way the will is.
As up your glorious Avenue,
The Capitolian Hill is !
The Gallant who has climbed that steep.
And many a summit harder.
From Jes^ie-mine-bowered Lover's-Leap,
To snowy-gulfed Nevada,
May lightly reach this spot of earth,
Where gleams Ambition's tower —
Just stepping, from the top of Worth,
Down on the top of Power.
Through perils from the savage foe,
And kindly hearts unstable,
THE SOUTH PASS. " 45
From dastard souls who would not go,
And weak who were unable,
We've reached the Southern Pass, at last,
Star-flowered with better promise,
And if we will, we'll soon have passed,
Where Slavery's floods roll from us !
Up then, ye dauntless freemen, on !
Track close your dauntless Master ;
We've crossed the fateful Rubicon,
To victory or disaster.
This day the nation's noblest hopes
Hang trembling in the balance.
Up ! charge the level Pass, that opes
The broad Free West, my Gallants !
While now the finger of Events
Though tremulous, like the needle,
Points only North, out from your tents,
In squadrons millipedal !
And march for Freedom's Mountain-door,
Where Slavery's flood rolls from us.
And living fountains flash, that pour
Down all our Land of Promise.
46 THE SOUTH PASS.
Thus only can we reach that hight
Which towers aloft supremely,
Where truth is law, and right is might,
Far seen before us, dimly.
Then on ! and He who bore his flag
Across the Mountain's Portal,
Will bear up ours, as o'er his crag,
To Freedom's Peak immortal.
THE HIGHEST POINT OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS.
Aloft in naked grandeur towered
The A^ast Cathedral of the Hills,
High peaks that would have quelled the coward
To look upon their pinnacles.
Sheer over all, with awful front.
Not yet baptized in brave sweat-drops
Of its High Priest, the " Peak Fremont"
Looked down on all the mountain-tops.
Far up, its skeleton white hand,
In glitter of eternal snow,
Caught the young Morning's flaring brand,
And flung it to the hills below.
48 FREMONT PEAK.
In the keen quivering of the light,
Might seem its rigid arm to wave,
Repellant in the weak heart's sight,
But beckoning up the strong and brave.
Ten thousand years of flood and fire.
Of earthquake and of hurricane.
That fleshiess Arm, no time could tire,
Had beckoned for its Man in vain.
Sometimes the Indian's fiery eye
Par off, its morning signal saw.
But strange, weird voices in the sky.
Low muttering, turned him back in awe !
The Builders of the mighty Mounds,
Who laid those fingers on the lips
Of their Land's Secret, heard the sounds,
And saw that towering fiend eclipse
The downward Sun, their glorious God,
Ages before — and flying far.
Piled for his grave the wintry sod.
And died beneath their fatal star.
Ten thousand years of mellowing change,
Of rain, and sun, and greening grass,
FEEMONT PEAK. 49
Of eagle-flight, and wild beast's range.
That towering Peak had seen to pass ;
But waved its fleshless arm in vain.
For ages, since the world began ;
Till now, in Freedom's latest reign,
The unwearying Call has found its Man !
Aloft with Freedom's meteor flag —
In hands like his redeemed from shame—
Fie scales the mountain's dizzying crag.
Clinging and climbing like a flame !
Right up ! a thousand feet below,
The deep lake glitters like a star,
Up ! through the everlasting snow,
Beyond the storm-line's icy scar.
Up ! where the eagle scarce could stand !
Till his unerring foot has trod
The loftiest cliff that heaves its hand
Between its mountain-throne and God.
Beneath his foot the thin spire quakes.
Like a tali cedar in the blast !
'Tis the old Mountain's hand that shakes
The welcome Hero's hand at last !
50 FREMONT PEAK,
Sheer down, a hundred fathoms dread,
On the broad shoulders of the Cliff,
He sees the royal ermine spread,
Like some proud Sultan's, jewel-stiff;
And round their awful Monarch's knees,
The mountain Peers, with all their woods,
And far, on either hand, he sees
The Cradle of the mighty Floods.
Like a wild meteor in the sky,
Outgleams the banner of his land,
As with a loud, exulting cry,
He gives it to that fleshiess Hand !
A symbol on the eternal hills.
That all below them should be free.
As that free-mountain shout, that thrills
Down all the slopes to either sea ! -
TO "BROIUS," ON FREMONT'S PEAK.
ALOFT 13,570 FEET.
Yellow-coated little Hero !
Bold explorer of the hills !
Do you look for daffodils,
Lily-blooms, and purple flags — ■
With the mercury at zero —
On these barren, icy crags ?
What has sent you, lonely Rover,
Far away from meadow slopes,
Columbine and heliotropes ?
52 TO "BEOMUS."
Reveler in sunny light,
And the sunny banks of clover,
Why your wild and weary flight 1
Is it possible Ambition
Harbors in your little soul,
Eager for the highest goal —
Doing what no other can ?
Pretty, miniature edition
Of the sateless heart of man !
" Humble ?" so I hear you cited ;
But, between yourself and me,
Boy ! if youhe a humhle-hee
I have not the wit to guess
Where a proud one would have 'lighted,
In our little wilderness !
But I may divine what meaneth
This my witty fellow speaks.
Up among the chilly peaks ;
That a steady, sunward flight,
Though it may not split the zenith^
Finds a very noble hight ;
TO ^'13K0MUS." 53
That the Eagle and the Vulture
Are not all who mount the sky *
So " unutterably high ;"
But that any little chap
May, if true to pith and culturOj
Put that feather in his cap !
THE CROSS ON ROCK INDEPENDENCE
Best Hero is best Man in every sphere ;
The noblest soul is always meek and just ;
Its pride, that tramples upon human fear,
And treads down peril as the common dust,
Is the calm nursling of a lowly Trust ;
For he whose faithful spirit walks with God,
Soars above terror and unworthy lust.
And will not wield, nor suffer, the base rod
Of tyrant power that makes Humanity a clod.
No pompous Braggart's egoistic " I,"
In his small worth and over-swollen conceit ;
No blatant ruffian, who can pitch more high
OKOSS.ON ROCK INDEPENDENCE. 55
His threatful clamor than the valorous beat
Of his fierce heart ; nor he whose fears defeat
More than injustice or an evil deed,
May dare to front the Future's judgment-seat
And claim the name of Hero for his meed :
The paths of inward peace to outward grandeur
High natures are alle giant to a Higher,
And looking upward teaches them to climb.
The soul that has no God, nor altar-fire,
Must grovel coldly in the barren slime
Of selfish pride, or at the flames of crime
Warm the thick blood to false enthusiasm ;
But Faith makes even our feebleness sublime,
And, bridging Death, leaps every narrower chasm.
And turns to new Life's flight the last convulsive
The Heroes 'balmed in everlasting song
By the great Past, w^ho drew from fearful odds
New strength, for sterner conflict with the wrong,
Fought for their Country and their Household
56 CKOSS ON EOCK INDEPENDENCE,
The laurel, grown on all their battle sods,
Hung round the Altar with their dinted arms ;
And he who sang in golden periods,
" Arras and the Man," with ^' pious, ^' crowned
Of his heroic worth in council and alarms.
Nor shall this age, whose better faith demands
More strict devotion, lack heroic men
Who will not blush to join victorious hands
In humble adoration, even then,
When hot blood urges to the charge agen !
So have we seen our laureled Washington,
Besieging Heaven in some secluded glen,
On bended knees ; then, armed with fire, anon
Sweep the red field of War, till victory was won !
So have we seen, in years allied to this,
The bold Pathfinder bowing to the Cross ;
And heard Detraction's atheistic hiss
Greet the great Symbol of our Gain and Loss,
With foul lips' curl, and low head's scornful
As Envy maddened at our Hero's crown.
CROSS ON EOCK INDEPENDENCE. 57
Ah, gallant Soul ! a thousand years may moss
The sign thou carvedst in thy young renown,
But ere that fair fame fail, the Rock shall crumble
Far in the savage wilds that granite blocks
From the deep bowels of the mountain hurled,
Seems, in the grandeur of its barren rock,
The corner-stone of some unfinished world.
Huge Mausoleum, with Fame's scroll unfurled
■ UpOQ its surface, or an altar grand,
With thunder-clouds for smoke of incense,
Above its awful front, where, graven, stand
The names of brave, great, good, from many a
While power, and pride, and bounding life were
They made that Rock their living Monument ;
And for the strength with which, alone, it dares
The storms of ages, moveless and unrent,
Baptized it unto Freedom ; and so blent
Its name with this young Empire of the West,
58 CEOSS ON EOCK INDEPENDENCE.
Whose " Independence," like that Rock, has
Its challenge to the thunder ! and, confest,
The World's great exiles set their names upon its
Here the young Hero of the mountain peaks,
Who could have shamed the chamois on his
When, like a sunrise, he had hung the streaks
Of our starred Banner on the naked scalp
Of pinnacled rocks supreme— who knew the
God lends the daring, in memorial love
Graved his Redeemer's Cross. The gaunt
May sn:'rl below it, but heaven smiles above ;
True hearts of every name, and every creed, ap-
If it were noble, and of worthy fame,
To bear aloft his country's eagle flag-
Beyond the eagle's ken, and in her name
Unfurl it there, upon the topmost crag
CEOSS ON EOCK INDEPENDENCE. 59
Of this New World, poised on a splintered jag
Where never yet the boldest foot had trod,
Shall bigot' Envy's soul-polluted hag
Cast dov^n his laurels to the trampled sod,
For that he laid them all upon the shrine of God ?
Ah, no ! the symbol of the bannered stars,
Flung out far up the starry deeps of blue.
Is freedom for the arms that break the bars
Of olden Empire, to create the nevv ;
The holier symbol of the Cross he drew
On the rock basis of the eternal hills,
Is freedom for the soul, who dares be true
In the long martyrdom of mortal ills.
And many a noble heart that sign with rapture fills !
At the roots of the mountains-
The wreck of a world —
Where the congregate waters
Of myriad fountains
Together are hurled —
The precipice totters
With ruinous weighty
Leaning oyer the river
That darts with a shiver,
As of a lashed hound,
Now, headlong, or never.
To plunge with a bound
Through that perilous gate !
THE CANON. Ql
From meadows that offer
Their sunniest nooks
To the purple amorpha,
And flowers without number,
Gold, azure, and red,
In the low river-bed.
Like glittering arrows
Flown home to their quiver.
Unite in a river.
One moment to slumber,
Ere hurled to the narrows
It rushes in dread.
With rocks to encumber
Its turbulent flow,
And rocks overhead,
Bowing fearfully low.
Shot down from its level.
Clear, sunny, and large,
Its mirror-like bevel'
Leans smooth to the rock.
Though swift as the lightning
It shoots to its targe.
52 THE CANON.
Till, shattered and whitening,
'Tis crushed by the shock
Of its thunderous charge.
Hemmed in by the ledges.
How fiercely it wedges
Its terrible path
To the jaws of that ruin.
Where, ages on ages,
It gnawed as it gnaws.
And raged as it rages,
A way for its wrath,
In those terrible jaws.
'Tis the shallow Nebraska,
The limpid Nebraska,
Now goaded to frenzy,
Or drunk with the glee
Of some Sibylline fancy
Of all it may be.
Shot down from its level
Of lifeful repose,
A jubilant masquer
In carnival madness,
And frenzy of gladness,
In roaring and revel,
The foaming Nebraska —
The shouting Nebraska,
Exultingly goes !
Ever deeper and deeper,
As steeper and steeper
The gulfs of their torment
Descend like a leaper.
The waters are piled
In an eddying mass ;
And the foam of their ferment
Ascends in the pass.
As white, o'er the storm-rent
Atlantic, the corm'rant
Goes driftingly wild.
With a half-timid shiver
The goat of the ledges
Peers over their edges,
And leaps the loud river ;
Far up in the blue,
54 THE CANON.
Flitting by in the sky
Like a lark to the view,
Or an animate mote —
The jaws of that inner
Gulf's watery Gehenna
Yawn upward so high
O'er its cavernous throat.
Adown the abysses
The swift river pours ;
It rustles and hisses,
It thunders and roars.
With changiilg and ranging,
Now hither, now thither —
And tumbled together
Torn by a hundred
Baffled and frantic.
Amid the gigantic
Debris of the hills —
Rushing and winding ;
Plunging in cataracts.
Leaping in fountains —
THE CANON, 65
So the mad water acts,
Rending and finding
A path through the mountains.
'Twas thus the Nebraska,
The fettered Nebraska,
Yet young from the lap
Of its Titaness Mother —
Untortured to grind
In the mill of a Tasker
As slave to another—
Nor leaving the sap
Of its vigor behind
In the roseate charms
Of the Prairie's arms-
Was mighty to snap
Its mountainous bands,
And out, with a shout.
Leap, wild as the clap
Of the Thunderer's hands !
The dark, roaring gap,
With its precipice cap.
Where the river-floods fell
QQ THE CANON.
• In their mutinous wrath,
Was the Canon's Gehenna —
Its watery hell !
The smoke of whose torment,
A nebulous banner —
Involved, like a cerement,
The ruinous dell
That plowed its abysses
Along in the path
Of a braver Ulysses
Than old story hath —
The eagle-like soarer,
Bold Chief and Explorer,
Whose foot1:rod as well
Over skied precipices,
, As on the green math
With his bounding Signora.
RUNNING THE CANON. 57
RUNNING THE CANON
The Hero, undaunted,
Turned not on his track ;
A duty before him,
And way peril-haunted.
Far rather would spur him,
Than hold a rein o'er him,
Save guidingly slack.
The hearts of his chosen,
By terror unfrozen,
To ride on the back
Of that wild foaming charger.
Right down through the roar
Of the turbulent river —
By keel of the voyager
Ne'er cloven before —
By bold Rider never,
In gallant endeavor,
So scourged with the oar.
63 BUNNING THE CANOH,
They launched on a bubble !
A spacious, tenacious,
Exotical bubble —
A thread at the helm
Of that tenuous film —
That spun in that trouble
Of weltering water,
As spins, for a little,
A brain-dizzied otter
Ill-struck by the hunter —
Then, borne to the middle,
And finding her center,
She darted ! she flew !
With her dexterous crew,
Just skimming the wave
As a rapid sea-mew.
And shunning her grave
In the hollows beneath,
Where the splintering jags
Would have cloven her through.
With their terrible teeth !
The precipitous crags.
In the glimmering blue.
RUNNING THE CA^iJON. Qg
Flew hurriedly back,
Like the thunderous rack
That the hurricanes brew !
And sunlight and shadow —
As over the meadow
When Taurus is nigh —
With smiling and weeping
Unstable and fickle —
Went troopingly by.
But more of terrific
And ruinous power
Rode, deaf 'ningly sweeping,
Along with that shower,
As a cold, clammy trickle
Dropped down from petrific
Rock-cumuli o'er them !
While round them, and under,
Above, and before them,
One Maelstrom of thunder
Involved them, and bore them ;
With rapid reef-whit'ning.
That flashed, intermitting,
70 BUNNINa THE CA^ON.
The sun-splendors flitting,
Shot by for their lightning !
With singing and shouting-
Unheard in the roar,
Nor fearing nor doubting
The perils before,
They flew through the hollow
As a tiny clifl'-swallow
Alone with the waves.
From the bow of the falls
Like an arrow they leapt,
And around in the sliiig
Of the vortices swept.
Were hurled to the walls,
With a perilous fling.
Like the pebble that leveled
The Anakim king ;
But gracefully shunning
The shock, in a breath,
They flew where the stunning,
EUKNING THE CANTON. 71
Whit^ cataracts reveled ;
Their gauntlet of death !
So daring and well,
With his chosen companions,
Our braver Ulysses
Went down the abysses
Of that watery hell ;
Went down through the canon's
Gehenna of waves.
Till they stood where the blood
Of immaculate Braves
Had thrilled with a shiver
To see the mad river,
With a death-gurgled note
Sucked down through the teeth
Of the black jaws beneath,
To the fathomless throat
Of impassable caves.
! the wilds and abysms,
Rough danger and toilj
72 EUNNING THE CANON.
Are the nurture and soil
Of sublime Heroisms !
And better than war is,
And better than peace,
Are the perilous forays
'Gainst desert and river,
And stern wilderness ;
They open the door-ways
Of future endeavor,
And challenge the Darkness,
Close-lipped in its starkness.
To stand and deliver !
THE STAND AT HAWK'S PEAK,
" 'TwAS nobly done !" Aye, nobly done !
And worthy of the old renown
Of Plataea and of Marathon—
To fling the daring gauntlet down,
To the false leader of a band
By lying panders stung too well
To fierce resentments, in a land
As fair as heaven and false as helL
He came in peace, for worthy ends.
To give the secrets of that clime
To star-eyed Science, still who lends
The soul new wings for flights sublime ;
74 THE STAND AT HAWK'S PEAK.
His weapons were that magic reed^
Which plucks the planets from the sky,
The prisoned Arielf who leads
The voyager where no path is nigh ;
The wizard's balance,| fine and thin,
That weighs the unfathomable air,
And that pale child^ of Hermes' kin,
Whose pulses the long throbs declare
Of the great fire-heart of the world ;
With more of strange and weird design,
Whereby the mysteries are unfurled
That sleep, thin-veiled, in nature's shrine.
Around him, hardy as the hills.
His triple score of gallant men.
Through fire and frost and countless ills,
In savage haunt, or lonely glen.
With toil, and chase, and rifle-shot,
Kept famine and fierce foes at bay ;
Ha ! toy with hungry wolves, but not
Provoke the wrath of such as they !
* Telescope, t Compass, t Barometer. § Thermometer.
THE STAND AT HAWK'S PEAK. 75
Through every heart, their Leader's heart
Beat like a pulse of molten steel ;
Not sooner would their proud steeds dart
From shaken rein and roweled heel,
Than these, on Peril's wildest charge,
At his low word, or silent sign ;
His brain superb, and spirit large.
Shone out confest, in storm and shine.
He came in peace, with welcome given.
To read the wonders of that land,
Her flowers and floods, and chasms riven
Through bald sierras, wild and grand.
But Treachery, choking back her words,
Roused the red Indian's eyeless wrath.
And arming all her mongrel hordes.
Shook chains and death across his path '
Ah, little did the traitor chief
Who stirred that Mountain Spirit, deem
That, ere the lengthening days grew brief,
'T would haunt him like an evil dream !
And little could he guess how well
The hand that |)lucked his 3:olJon flowers.
76 THE STAND AT HAWK'S PEAK.
Could hurl defiance down the dell,
On all his congregated powers.
There, on the peak " del Gabellan,"
The Hero's oaken rampart rose,
Above the towers of San Juan
Where thronged the legions of his foes.
There first the sunrise Eagle flew,
Gold-gleaming, o'er the Land of Gold,
Full in that mustering army's view,
And cowered their numbers manifold.
As some gaunt wolf, that on his prey-
Descending with an eager dash,
Finds there the Shepherd's dog at bay,
And sees the white teeth foam and gnash,
Reels back, and crouching, circles far,
Blood-snufhng, and at last slinks oft' —
So came, so quailed Don Castro's war,
Before that banner's flouting scoff!
'Twas nobly done ! against a host
To hurl their challenge down the hills.
Free hearts, all round them to the coast,
LeapL jubilant, with prescient thrills ;
THE STAND AT HAWK'S PEAK. 77
Far flashed the sign to distant lands,
Atlantic cheered it with a roar ;
And glad Pacific clapped her hands,
To hail the coming conqueror !
Once more roll out thy signal sheet
For Freedom, on her eminent hight !
Our hearts leap up with fiery beat
To join thee in the moral fight.
The Prairie wolf shall cower away
To his swamp lair, thenceforth his gi^ave,
And rescued Kansas cheer the day
That saw thy conquering banner wave.
A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH.
When snows have fled from the breath of Spring,
And the rushing floods leap swollen on — -
As a jewel set in a mountain ring,
On the hand of the Giant Oregon —
Or a star in the dusky night of pines,
That bright in the sombre foliage shines —
Or a lover's eye that clear, between
Dark lash and heavy brow, is seen —
The Tlamath Lake lies beautiful,
In the heart of its mighty hills and woods,
Glassing them well in its waveless lull.
Or making the mountains, like their floods,
To leap and quiver, in fields below,
A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. 79
When its mirror moves with a waving flow,
As odorous winds- from the forest blow.
But when the red autumnal sun
Rolls over the mountains in a veil
Of purpling mist, that seems to trail
On the piney slope of each mighty sheaf
In that great Harvest Field begun
Among the hills ; when a mellow wail —
As of young love's delicious grief,
Or the harp of sorrow, struck with one
Prelusive note — begins to run
Through the red arcades of pine, before
The harsher blasts of the winter pour —
The waves that roll on the Tlamath Lake
Are emerald billows of flowing grass ;
The stag of the hills may come to slake
His thirst in the river, whose waters break
The green expanse, with their fluid glass,
But the smoke of the Indian's domed tent
Goes up from the smooth savannah's breast,
As over its sheet of waters went
The morning mist, when June had kissed
Their ripples awake with her sweet Southwest.
80 A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH.
Lake Tlamath lay like a bridge of light,
That spanned a fathomless gulf below,
When the May Moon on its weltering night
Dissolved, in a silver overflow,
And adown the pines in flakes of white
On the tents of the voyageurs shook its snow.
No paddle disturbed the silent wave ;
No sound was out in the silent air,
Save only the whispering tongues that gave
A weird, low murmur, everywhere,
A secret that no soul dirines — •
The mystery of the midnight pines !
And save withal the flames' low mutter,
That seemed as if in vain they strove
Unutterable things to utter.
Of the deeps below and the heavens above.
The Indian of the Tlamath Lake
Is fierce as savage foe may be,
Remorseless as the wolves that break
The corral's hedge, for their famine's sake,
Yv'hen the herdsman, standing broad awake.
And the rifle's leveled bead, they see —
And treacherous as the wily cat —
A NIGHT BT LAKE TLAMATH. gl
That spotless Tiger of the West,
So smooth in her bhick and shining vest,
So still, through the long reeds gliding flat,
Till she darts on her helpless victim's breast !
His arrows are tipped with English steel.
Barbed and keen, on a feathered shaft —
And bound to his wrist, by its polished haft,
Is an English half-axe hung, to deal
The nearer blow, when, hand to hand
And foot to foot, the foemen stand
In the deadly last appeal.
But the Tlamath's trail is far away
From their silvery lake and mountain pines,
To the hostile south in a fierce foray.
Or northward with their spears.
Watching the shoals where the salmon shines
By the steep Cascades, that whiten the line
Of their nursing hills, like banners waved
From feudal towers, for a people saved.
In the olden lands and years.
Thus silence reigned in the weary camp,
Unjarred by the slow and measured tramp
82 A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH.
Of the wakeful sentinel ;
For the voyageurs all were folded deep,
In the downy bosom of toil-won sleep.
And the soldiers slumbered well.
Fleet couriers from the sunrise land,
They had brought to the Chief of the mountain
Over trackless wilds of steep and glen.
Through the deadly haunts of savage men,
Sweet words of Flome ; how doubly sweet
In the depths of an utter solitude,
Where the stealthy glide of the Indian's feet,
Is the only human tread they meet,
And that is blood-imbrued.
And came withal a whispered call
To turn h\n\ back, for a day of need —
To the golden south, where his gauntlet fell
At Castro's coward foot so well—
With a whip in the hand of his eager band
To scourge the wretch for his miscreant deed,
When the Hour should strike its bell ;
And sooth, his steed would make good speed
With that buoyant hope in sell.
A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATII. 33
Not yet the Leader gave his hand
To the beckoning hand of sweet Repose,
With her, dreams of home in a sunny land,
Beyond the whoop of savage foes.
With a slow and cautious tread, he went,
Between the camp-fires and the dark,
Where the flickering flames, far outward, sent
The huge pine shadows, reeling and bent.
Like wrestling giants, grim and stark ;
And he saw them leap from tent to tent,
With their ghostly arms flung up in air,
As if their frenzied play were meant
To warn him back from a peril there,
Or so to find some silent vent
For a great and dumb despair.
All round the Camp his ear and eye
Caught every motion, and every sound ;
The whispering flames, and the solemn sigh
Of the pine-tops, where the winds went by
In their everlasting round ;
The creeping stir of the bristling leaves
Where a breath would dance their quivery sheaves.
The moan of the waters that came to break
84 A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH.
On the reedy marge of the, Mooned Lake,
And a low, faint murmur, everywhere.
From the deeps of pine to the Tlamath's verge,
As if the spirits who hovered there,
Were singing, to a love-lorn air,
The prelude of a solemn dirge !
Such fancies are feeble to awe the brave ;
He heeds no murmur of wood or wave
Who trembles not at a w^ar-whoop's yell — -
The silence of the untrodden wild,
And the trust of nature's simple child — •
The steed, quick-eared— who is prompt to tell
The lurking of foes — said, " All is well !"
Calm in assurance the Leader went
And sat at the door of his open tent.
In the light of the whispering flames ;
And over the page in silence bent,
That bore his treasured Names —
And whose simple words had power to roll
The broad expanse, with its mountain chains.
And deserts and woods and endless plains,
Together, like their pictured scroll,
A NiaHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. §5
Bringing the utmost zones to meet
In a kiss of unity long and sweet.
Wliat waking visions softly came
Between him and the mystic flame,
That changed the deeps of the forest gloom,
To a twilight nook in a curtained room,
The heavy breaths of his sleeping band
To the ripples of Childhood's sweet repose —
The soft wind's touch to a gentle hand,
On his forehead pressed, in a far-off land.
And its sound to a music he only knows —
While over his head the holy stars,
Looking down through the pine trees' moving bars,
Became sucli eyes ! Ah me ! to guess
Were to touch too near the sacred veil ;
Or how, with a growing vividness.
The visions shone as the fires grew pale,
Stealing away into dreams of sleep.
The same, but ever more clear and deep ;
Till camp, and mountain, and Tlamath vale.
Were things involved in a distant clime,
And the purple mist of a vanished time.
86 A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH.
Hark ! was it not a falling blow
In the dusky verge of the sleeping camp ?
Look ! are they only the shadows, that go
Along the pine-bolls, crouching low,
In the pale fire's dying lamp ?
And that the moan of the breeze 1 Ah, no !
That stifled moan is a dying groan,
A¥here the hand of the traitors fell !
" To your rifles ! ho ! 'tis the savage foe !"
To their feet they sprang, and the forest rang
With a long unearthly yell,
And the sudden twang of the deadly bow —
And the rifle's crack, quick answering back,
That laid the foremost Tlamath low !
A moment now, for death or life.
The pine-woods blazed with the quick, hot strife
Of barbed arrow and whizzing ball ;
The Delawares plied the scalping-knife
Wherever a foe might fall,
And the Tlaniath's scalp was whirled on high.
With a leap, and a fierce exulting cry.
And such a glare in the burning eye,
As looks but to appall !
A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. g?
The Tlamaths gave one parting yell,
One arrowy shower, and fled,
And left behind them, where he fell,^r,
Their boldest warrior, dead —
A royal chieftain, strong and young,
Whose polished arrows, and plumage red,
And cap with glittering jewels strung,
Bespoke the fiower of their savage band,
Of the subtlest brain, and the firmest hand,
A warrior proud and dread.
Alas ! too well in the silent dark
The red axe struck to its sleeping mark ;
Young Basil the gallant, the loved and fair —
A sinewy Sioux swift and stark,
And a bold broad-breasted Delaware — ■
Lay bleeding and warm, but lifeless there.
But dear to their souls was the red cup poured
With another dawn, on the Tlamath horde.
When the hungry fire, and the rifle's shot.
Lapped up their homes to a blackened spot.
And mowed their swarms like the falling grain,
When the reapers bow to the harvest plain —
Till tbeir treacherous powder, with their warriors
Fell shattered and was not. [slain,
By the beautiful Lake Tlamath
Sleeps Basil Lajeimesse,
With his arms upon his bosom,
And his mantle on his face.
The Pines' aeolian murmur
Is over him forever,
And a moaning, moaning, moaning,
A melancholy moaning.
Like a widow's lone intoning.
Joins, from the muffled motion
Of the darkly-rollinfy river.
By the beautiful Lake Tlamath
Sleeps Basil Lajeunesse ;
BASIL LAJEUNESSE. gQ
He has fought the good life-battle,
He has run the manly race.
We mourned him like a brother,
For we knew him but to love him ;
And the dripping, dripping, dripping,
The musical, low dripping
Of the dew-drops, v/as in keeping
With the tears that, in our silence,
Shed we, womanly, above him.
By theT3eautiful Lake Tlamath
Sleeps Basil Lajeunesse,
The young, the swift, the beautiful.
With every manly grace ;
The virgins of Canadia,
Far, far away shall mourn him ;
And the wailing, wailing, wailing.
The weary west-wind's wailing,
Will waft them one unfailing
Memorial, low monody.
From the bed where we have borne him.
By the beautiful Lake Tlamath
Sleeps Basil Lajeunesse,
90 BASIL LAJEUNES8E.
But not long shall sleep forgotten
In a solitary place !
The Future's fair-haired Virgins,
Along that moon-lit river,
In a soothing, soothing, soothing,
Soft threnode, spirit-soothing,
The ruffled night air smoothing
With the beautiful Lake Tlamath
Shall weave his name forever !
DEFEAT OF WAH-L AH-WAH-L AHS
" Vengea^nce on the white marauders,
Vengeance on their gathered host,
Who are grasping all our borders,
From the mountains to the coast.
They have robbed us, they have slain us.
But their Law shall never chain us,—
For the red-tongued scalping-knife
Shall declare the wrongs we bear.
In exterminating strife.
Rouse our overwhelming numbers !
Blood for blood, and life for life !
Strike their war-men in their slumbers.
Fire the home, and brain the wife !"
92 DEFEAT OF WAH-L AH- W AII-LAITS
Yelled the savage Wah-lah-waii-lahs.
With a peal that rent the sky,
Like the terrible " il-AUahs"
Of the Moslem's charging cry.
All the vale of Sacramento
Shuddered at the vengeful yell ;
Ever clearer, louder, nearer,
Clearer, louder, more terrific,
On the scattered Homes it fell.
Till the snov^y-peaked Sierra,
Thousand-echoed, caught the terror.
And her wrath-white lips magnific
Flung it to the broad Pacific,
With an ever-deepening swell.
Followers of the Eagle Banner !
Conquerors of the " Golden Gate !"
Periled life, and periled honor.
In a swirl of refluent fate,
North and south, upon you wait !
Rebel Dons at Santa Barbara
Snatch the loosened reins of State ;
While the angered northern savage.
DEFEAT OF WAH-LAH-WAH-LAHS. 93
Eager now to burn and ravage,
In your perils grown elate.
For the fatal moment waits,
When but blood his fury sates.
Where is now the dauntless Leader
Of the never-daunted clan ?
He who on the white Nevada —
On the peak " del Gabellan"-
Hung before his narrow van
Freedom's meteor flag again,
Threatful with its bloody bars,
Glaring with defiant stars
On the treacherous Mexican ?
Where is now the " Iron Man"
With his Braves who never blanch.
Who, in spite of twanging bow,
Lance's hiss, and axe's blow,
Rode that ride at Redding's Ranch,
On a forest of the foe 1
Summoning his bold Battalion,
He has turned to tame Rebellion
On the hills of Santa Barbara, —
94 DEFEAT OF W AH-L All- W AII-L AH S,
Santa Barbara won and lost,
Where their mettle soon was tried,
Fiercely, at the next Yule-tide,
As the storm in sleety horror
Wrapt the shuddering Sierra,
While the dauntless hero cross'd.
With their Leader, side by side,
They, in valor's hardy pride,
Charged the Elemental Host,
Though a hundred horses died
By the arrows of the Frost !
Needs the land such mettle now,
For a quick and deadly blow
In the Sacramento's valley,
Where the savage Wah-lah-wah-lahs
To the dance of vengeance rally
Like the heroes in Valhalla's
Wassail wild, from ghastly bowls
Pledging their infernal " skoals.'''
Turn, thou thunder-bolt of war.
Flash thy lightnings on the north ;
•' Help!'' forsaken wives implore,
DEFEAT OF W All-L AH- W AH-LAHS. 95
Old and worn, who fight no more,
Babes and virgins near and far,
Call thy conquering valor forth.
Eager for the fearful fray,
Round the Leader flocked his band,
Fiery heart and iron hand,
On their chargers fierce as they.
Snuffing battle in the gale
That swept broadl)'' down the vale.
Seemed, in equal ardor fit,
Horse and Rider champed the bit,
As impatient of delay.
But the Chieftain, with the lifting
Of his right hand, waved away
All the longing Rangers, thronging.
Panting for the savage fray.
" Not to-day ! not to-day !
I have need of picked companions
For my conquerless array ;
Ye who ran the roaring canons,
Making hardihood a play,
Well can do what valor may ;
96 DEFEAT OF W AH -L All - W AH-LAHS.
But a courage more divine
Must be mine, if Heaven incline
In my perilous path to shine.
" Under that great Eye who sees us,
I must go, and you must stay ;
Let your fiery valor burn,
It shall blaze, at my return,
On the ramparts of Don Jesus,
And the rebel south affra}^
Now^ with these my chosen Three,
I go forth to victory,
Or what fate the Power decrees us
Whom to know is to obey."
Forth they rode, the gallant Four,
Rode the Leader with his Three,
From the wonder of their fellows.
Why they rode, or why no more,
On so fierce an enemy ;
Forth they rode with equal flight
Till they heard the war-whoop's roar,
Saw the war-fires burning bright,
Saw the angry Wah-lah-wah-lahs
DEFEAT OP WAH-LAH-WAH-LAHS. 97
Whet their vengeance for the fight ;
Heard the cry which filled the hollows
With far echoes of affright^
As the judgment-knells of conscience
Fill the murderer's dreams by night.
With a slow and measured tramp,
R'ode the One before the Three,
Straight into the stormy camp,
Roaring round them like a sea ;
Straight to where the old War-Sachem
Swung his axe in savage glee,
On imagined scalp-locks clutchingj
From invisible mothers snatching
Babes his wrath alone could see.
In a lull of sudden wonder —
Hush of that mid-volleyed thunder,
Which might make the terror grander,
Thus outspake the bold Commander :
" I have heard the wrongs you suffer^
Heard the cry of your distress ;
Here witk bpen hands I proffet*
98 DEFEAT OF WAH-LAH-WAH-LAHS.
Pledge and promise of redress.
I have steeds as fleet as arrows,
And unerring as the bow —
I will bring them when the sparrows
Sing for the retreating snow ;
Though for many lingering morrows
Southward down the coast 1 go.
Chase the game along the narrows,
Elk and deer and buffalo :
Call your kinsfolk, your companions,
To the better way ye learn ;
Spear the salmon in the caiions —
Hunt and fish, and spare the lives
Of our little ones and wives —
Live in peace till I return :
And this warrior by my side
With your gallant Braves may ride,
Holding up our Banner's pride.
That before your path shall burn,
An inviolate guard and guide.
He were rash who dared to spurn !"
Peace was on the Leader's brow.
And Persuasion on his tongue ;
DEFEAT OF WAH-LAH - W AII-LAHS. 99
Honor sealed his simple vow,
Faith on every accent hung.
From his lip whose smile was balm,
From his eye whose glance was law,
Round him grew a ring of calm,
Round him grew a ring of awe ;
For his words were words of truth,
And his look was silent Power :
Hoary chief and fiery youth.
Yielding all the centered weight
Of their hoarded wrath and hate.
To an action calm and great.
Were the conquest of that hour.
" Take," he said, " my bearded Brave,
Pledge my foot will never lag
In the promises I gave ;
Take the white man's starry Flag,
For where'er its splendors wave
O'er your march, by dell and crag.
Moves the great shield of our Law ;
And the foe that strikes that banner
Strikes me^ and the jealous honor
Of a broad Land, stretching far
Both her arms, of Peace and War !"
iOO DEFEAT OF W AH-LAH-WAH-LAHS.
Ceased the war-cry of the savage,
Ceased the will to burn and ravage,
And the valleys slept again.
Backward rode the gallant Three,
Rode the Leader and his Twain,
From a bloodless victory,
From a field without its slain ;
And the boldest Wah-lah-wah-lahs
Rode to battle in his train.
THE RIDE OF ONE HUNDRED.
" Steeds ! steeds for my Riders ! the fleetest and
My Country demands, and there's death in delay !
Unbar your corral to a People's behest,
And lavish your treasures to speed us away !
The stars of my banner must blaze in the rout
Of Castro, the hater, the coward, and slave !
And its stripes like a manifold scourge shall flout
That insolent traitor death-hunting the brave !
" He is trailing his hounds to the deadly attack
On the Guards of Los Angeios, sturdy and few,
But a week this day will I harry him back
With the shattered remains of his howling crev/."
102 'THE RIBE OF ONE HUNDEED.
The Ranch of Yalleyo was buried in sleep,
But it roused at the call of that dark Mountaineer,
Who had marshaled his band for a hurricane-sweep
Through the lines of Rebellion, flank, center,
and rear !
" Two hundred leagues ! and a savage no Road
Over bleak sierra and quaking morass !
Through gulches untamed by a human abode,
And the wild ' el Rincon's^ weltering pass !
It can not be done !" and Yalleyo's head
Shook a creditless " No" in the face of the chief.
*' But it must ! and it shall be !" the warrior said,
"My Land is my pledge, and the moment is
Three hundred steeds, from Valleyo's Ranch,
Went down the Sonoma together that night,
With the headlong plunge of an avalanche.
That still in descending redoubles its might !
Through the hills and the hollows the echoes were
With a charging shout of the daring and free —
Till down Yerba Buena her cottages quaked
In a prescient throb of her magic To Be.
THE EIDE OF ONE HUNDEED. ^QS
In a snow-flight tinged with a raining of red,
The galloping chargers were strung to their
For the mouths that were foaming, and flanks that
Showered thus in the path of each emulous
The Riders leapt down from the beast over-spent
To their riderless runners that scoured o'er the
And their pathway was marked, far along, as they
By the wild-dogs feeding on fallen and slain !
No needless delay for imperative need.
One nap, and a snatch, and away to their Ride !
With their swarthy Fremont dashing on in the
And his wiry Kit Carson almost at his side.
No sound on their charge but the storming of hoofs.
And the snort of the steeds as they darted and flew.
Or a shout from the ridges hurled down to the roofs,
Like a voice from the clouds or a bolt from the
X04 "^^^ EIDE OF ONE HUNDEED.
Through startled San Pablo, through hushed Mon-
Through far-scattered hamlets, o'er hedge-row
and fosse !
The lone watcher, roused by the stormy affray.
Just muttered a curse, with the sign of the cross !
The spectres that ride on the Brocken by night.
Not wilder nor fleeter had seemed to their terror,
Than these, in their wordless and weariless flight,
Over ruinous rifts, and the jagged Sierra !
The dark-flooded Rio rolled down in their path ;
They faltered one leap, at its ruinous roar ;
" On ! on through the torrent ! we'll buffet its
And the Leader dashed on through the whirl to
the shore !
Swept down like the leaves of the forest, they
And the dark Sacrificios whitened with spray,
As they struggled and plunged in the deadly de-
Till all but the rearmost rode out and away !
THE EIDE OF ONE HUNDEED. ^QS
"The Dead to their Maker! the Quick to the
The hights of the Puebla are looming in sight ;
There wavers the Banner of Stars, on their marge !
Now, plunge in the Battle ! and God for the
Oh ! what a wild yell, like the funeral knell
Of rampant Kebellion, went up with that cry !
As full on the rear of the Traitor they fell,
Like a thunder-bolt launched from a shadowless
" Fremont to the rescue ! Ho, rally once more !
He has come with his Riders ! the dark Moun-
The garrison's volley rang out with a roar.
In reply to the thunders that rose on the rear !
Star flashing to star, from their flags, o'er the foe,
Sent a cheer to the Braves, but a basilisk glare
On the terrified legions dispersed at a blow,
And whelmed by the Riders in final despair ;
For the Lancers of Castro went down in that storm,
Like reeds of the fen in a tempest of fire,
106 '^'^^'^ RIDE OF ONE HUNDEED.
Where the fierce Wah-lah-wah-lah's uiigarmented
Rode on, like a demon of doom, in his ire ;
And the swart Mountaineers with their Chief in
Wheeled in, with a gallop, and swept them away !
So rode The One Hundred, led on by The Man,
And the arm of Rebellion was broken that day.
Again to the rescue ! undaunted Fremont !
The hell-hounds of treachery, snuffing for blood,
Are loosed on the Man-child at Liberty's font-
Young Kansas the free, trampled down by their
Now thund; r the war-cry, as then it was thundered,
Charge home on Oppression ! and God for the
Our Millions will ride in the path of the Hundred,
And bloodless, or bleeding, win all in the fight !
BY THE FATE OF DON JESUS PICO.
December's glowing sun looked down
On verdant field and leafy oak,
San Luis' towers, and roofs of brown,
And the swift victor's camp-fire smoke.
Before its golden beams illume
The eastern mountains' sea-ward wail,
The captive foe must meet his doom,
From many a deadly rifle-ball !
No blanching on his manly cheeks,
No quailing in his dauntless eye ;
Firm as his own Nevada's peaks.
The Insurgent Chieftain waits to die.
108 CONQUEST ENDED.
To die a soldier's death of shame,
Twice conquered by a single hand,
And wearing on his mountain name
The fire-mark of Dishonor's brand.
Wrapt in his " old Castilian pride,"
He begged no boon of lingering life ;
If for his Country's love he died,
Why kneel to live for Home and Wife ?
Home, Mother, Wife, and dark-eyed Girls,
Dear to the Brave, and doubly dear
When o'er him Death's white breaker curls-
Wrung out no weak memorial tear.
A glitter on the snowy peaks,
And on the rifle's ready line,
To his calm eye the moment speaks,
And flashes far its fatal sign.
Alone in his unguarded tent.
Watching the Hour's relentless hand,
The Victor stood, with forehead bent,
Lip-parted for the last command :
CONQUEST ENDED. JQQ
When all the Captive's wealth of Home,
Mother and Wife and black-eyed Girls
Thronged round him — these with cheeks like foam
In the dark splendor of their curls —
That with her pale majestic face
Crowned well by smooth Madonna hair,
And clinging in a linked embrace,
They breathed and looked and wept their prayer.
" Mercy ! thou merciful and brave ;
Spare, spare to us our more than life !
The Husband, Son, and Father save,
To weeping Mother, Child, and Wife.
" Perhaps a mother's fading eye
Watches the west for thy return ;
A true wife's prayer ascends on high,
Tender with thoughts that o'er thee yearn ;
*' Or in an hour that change may bring,
Far from their fallen father's tomb,
Thy children's happy laugh may ring,
Unconscious of their flying doom !
110 CONQUEST ENDED.
" God spare them long ! and spare us, thou,
The bitter cup they would not drain ;
And we will hold thee, close as now,
To hearts where grateful love shall reign."
Oh, to have seen our Hero then !
The great tear trembling in his eye,
Not " first" alone, but " best of men !"
Had been our heart's applauding cry.
" Guards, lead the Captive to my tent !"
Calm in the rifle's deadly aim.
The Doomed had stood, and proudly went —
But seeing, trembled as he came.
" Take from my hand, and with my hand.
Full pardon, and thy periled life,
To be the bulwark of thy land.
The joy of Mother, Child, and Wife !"
Thrice conquered, at the Victor's knee
The strong man bowed, with heaving breast,
Devoting hand and heart to be
The ransom of the far Southwest.
CONQUEST ENDED. m
There bowed a People's jealous hate,
There breathed a People's loyal vow ;
And, thronging through the Golden Gate,
Our myriads share that conquest now.
More worth than laurels dripping red,
Is Mercy's stainless lily crown ;
Its odor, round the Brave Man shed.
Is sweeter than his old renown.
Not myriads alone shall bless
The Hero of the Spotless Shield,
For now our rousing millions press
Around his Banner in the field.
Like lightning to the embattled wrong.
Like sunshine to the poor and weak.
It calls the dauntless and the strong,
It lures the merciful and meek.
Not myriads alone shall share
The triumphs of that glorious flag ;
112 CONQUEST ENDED.
But, from' the walls of Slavery's lair,
To white Nevada's farthest crag,
O'er all the land his courage gave
To Freedom and the march of man,
When, unpolluted by a slave,
Rolls west her endless caravan,
May teeming millions find a home,
And spread the empire of the free.
From far Pacific's whitening foam
To broad Atlantic's heaving sea !
TO CAPTAIN J. C. FREMONT.
FEOM THE SPANISH OF DON HEENANDO FUEEO,
[Los Angelos, Feb., 1847.]
Brave Foe ! whose conquering sword is WTeathed
With olive, never stained by wrong ;
Whose spirit, in thy warriors breathed,
Imparts thy courage high and strong,
I crown thee generous as brave,
Proud peer of all the great and free,
And bless defeat itself which gave
Our land, our laws, our all to thee !
From thee, as midnight from the sun,
Shrank Castro, anarchy, and chains !
X14 TO CAPTAIN J. C. FEEMONT.
Thy crimeless victories, bravely won,
Gave freedom to our scourged domains.
Law followed in thy glorious track,
And Mercy flew by Valor's side ;
Ah, Jesu ! that this*land should lack
What rights a noble Foe supplied !
A Foe no more ! with proffered hand,
And grateful heart, we hail thee Friend !
Magnanimous to a fallen Land,
Whose old Castilian pride may bend
To a great Heart, but sooner dies
Than blanch at death — I crown thee Great,
In action strong, in council wise.
True savior of a tottering State !
I see the ancient fire renewed
In this last age of coward men ;
Texeda's dauntless heart, endued
With stubborn virtue, lives again ;
Manaya's fiery will in war.
Puts lightning in thy every blow ;
The Western World's young Campedor,
Thy very presence quells the foe !
TO CAPTAIN J. C. FKEMONT. n^
No other hand could guide so well
Your sunrise Eagle on our hills :
Our jealous hate might ne'er repel,
But would have stuog, with clinging ills.
The victor, who in triumph's flush
Knew not so grandly to forbear —
For the Guerilla's steel can blush.
But not his cheek, at deeds we dare !
Tracked by the glare of burning homes,
By childhood's curse and woman's wail,
' Tis thus the heartless conqueror comes,
Whose path is one red murder-trail !
But white hands down thy swift career
The dark-eyed signoritas wave,
And matrons join the deepening cheer
That hails thee Merciful as Brave !
FAREWELL TO "SACRAMENTO."
Hurrah ! and away ! My Steed, good-bye !
Gray Sacramento, I glory to see
Thy smoking mane and thy blazing eye,
And thy broad breast swelling to be free !
Almost it seems that a human soul,
With its lofty essence of self-control,
And that divine disdain to be
The creature of any, which marks the goal
Of a higher nature won.
Were speaking now, in thy glorious mien.
And making the fire of thine eye more keen,
As I shout to cheer thee on !
Rushing away to the reinless herd.
Thou hast cleared the prairie, fleet as a bird,
FAREWELL TO " 8 ACK AMENTO." 117
With a joyous prance for thy wordless glee,
And a backward glance of pride for me,
And another, as proud, for the jealous crowd,
Sent over the left exultingly back,
With a challenge to come if they will, on a
That runs like a flash through the tempest's
Thyself the flash of thy own dust-cloud !
Away with thy fellows, who hail thee in pride,
I see thee dashing the laggards aside.
As a steamship dashes the billowy tide.
For thy tameless purpose is still to lead !
Hurrah ! the hunter who hopes to ride
With a bit for thee, my gallant Steed,
Should mount the Eagle for better speed,
With a shooting star for his only guide,
And train his nimble hand to throw
The lightning-streak for his red lasso !
Ha ! ha ! I laugh with thy victor laugh !
And see with thee, from that burning eye,
The hills and the woods go drifting by.
118 FAREWELL TO " S A CE AMENT 0. »
Like clouds of hurricane-winnowed chaff!
As if the world were around thee hurled —
That eye the center, from which it whirled,
And its bicker thy jubilant laugh.
Thou hast served me well, and T speed thee well.
My gallant Steed, forever free !
Leaping the cliffs like a light gazelle,
And far out-flying the very yell
Of the savage hordes, whose arrows fell
In a pattering hail on our smoking trail,
Whole roods behind thy meteor tail,
And wasted there, on the desert air,
The vengeance meant for me.
Thou hast borne me over the herbless waste,
With a hardy mettle and eager haste,
That left swift Famine, thin and pale,
Drifting astern on the panting gale !
Little to thee, as a stumbling-block.
Was fallen tree or fallen rock ;
One bound went clear, over rock and tree !
The treacherous cleft was spanned and left,
With a graceful daring, proud to see ;
FAREWELL TO " S ACE AMENTO." ng
The*-roaring floods thou hast carried me through,
With the buoyant bound of the fleet canoe.
Or the lighter glide of the swift curlew
Across the waves of a troubled sea.
I have pillowed my head on thy dark gray side,
Watching the stars, our golden guide ;
We have drunk together the same clear flow
.''rom the cups of the playful brooks, that grow
To majestical rivers far down below.
Almost, by times, I had need to share
The bitter herbs of thy scanty fare —
And oft have we gone to one roofless bed,
With the same bare sod beneath us spread,
Or coiled in the folds of the falling snow,
Where man and beast at the dawn were found,
;^ach lying apart in his silent mound,
Is if our camp were a burial-ground
For the sleep of the nameless dead !
My dauntless Kit has a plume for thee !
For thy saving speed in an hour of need.
When thy hoofs were fleet, and his rifle slow,
To level the death-doing Indian foe,
120 FAEEWELL TO "SACRAMENTO."
Whose fatal point was drawn to the bow —
Thy swift leap trampled him down at a blow,
And my Lad stood peril-free !
Ha ! ha ! I shout to thy gallant neigh,
And cheer thee on thy reinless way,
Free ! free to thy heart's desire !
Ill fare the hand that touches again
The dark gray ridge of thy tossing mane !
Or thy swelling nostrils, red and thin,
Sucking the air like a whirlwind in.
To snort it out in fire !
Never again let rider sit
On thy strong back, my noble Steed !
Nor part thy teeth with the iron bit.
To pamper his pride, or serve his need.
I give thee to the unbounded plain,
With the whole broad West for thy fair domain,
And a wild hurrah, for my parting word !
Wherever the fire of thy heart may lead,
Go forth, forever unleashed and freed,
Thy best defense in thy own good speed—
Thou lord of. the reinless herd 1
THE PRAIRPB CAMP
As sloops becalmed upon the deep,
Or birds upon the wing asleep,
White on the Kansas' boundless plain
The Explorer's tents are seen again ;
For still undaunted to the last,
By woes to come, or perils past,
Again he dared the winter's wrath —
To trace the inevitable path ^
Where yet the Lightning's moaning lyre
Shall wail her bondage to the wire,
While shriek the white-maned Steeds of Fire-
That path he would have trod before
When, wandering in the mountains hoar.
Came pale Disaster for tbeir Guide,
And brave hearts, scattered far and wide,
In snowy gulfs sank down and died.
But far from his white tents to-day,
The Leader held his lonely way.
Disease had touched the " Iron Man,"
But not the less his valor ran
High bounding, eager to return,
Where now their smouldering watch-fires burn,
And once again, in courage stern,
To charge, with his devoted band,
The horrors of the mountain-land.
The lingering voyageiirs set their camp
Where, day by day, the Bison's tramp
Came booming o'er the rolling plain.
Like surges of the watery main ;
And bounding 6ver many a slope,
Flew by the graceful Antelope,
Light, slender, fleet, and beautiful.
Skimming the long waves like a gull ;
While, from his covert in the wood,
Came forth by times and wondering stood
THE PEAIKIE CAMP.
The stately Elk in all the pride
Of his huge antlers branching wide,
As first upon his startled sight
Appeared the low tents, gleaming white —
Then darting down the river, sped— ^
The cieft air hissing round his head,
His branchy horns, now seen, now lost,
Like leafless oak-boughs tempest-tost,
Rising and sinking on the view,
As o'er the endless reach he flew.
Along the river's banks of green
The willow hung its pendent screen.
And dark in heavier masses stood
The thick groves of the cottonwood.
While on the waves that never broke.
Hung a broad crest of giant oak.
Far o'er the plain as sight could pass,
Rolled, deep and brown, the sea of grass,
Whose lifted surge, a moment seen.
Tossed up its hidden wealth of green.
Flashing an inward transmarine.
Like ocean's billows in the light,
Just ere the long curl breaks in white.
124 THE PEAIRIE CAMP.
The Prairie Sage, a matted mass,
Like brown rocks in the flowing grass,
Would whiten to the ruffling breeze,
As by the foam of breaking seas ;
While, here and there, the mottled hen
Rose from the mass, and sunk agen,
As you have seen the hunted brant
Leave, for a breath, his watery haunt.
And plunge below the wave, too fleet
For the quick death shot's leaden sleet.
Wide round the camp, on either hand,
The turbid Kansas, rolling grand
Stretched her two arms, as if to clasp
The broad savannah in her grasp.
And hold the voyageurs' little band,
As in the hollow of her hand.
But where is He whose beacon soul
May light them to their ocean goal ?
They lingered long, and day by day.
Looked darkly up. the western way,
Looked longing down the eastern plain.
But, vainly longing, looked in vain.
THE PRAIEIE CAMP. 125
Below their sunset's golden shore
A hundred length'ning leagues, and more,
Their journey lay, through perils sore ;
Beyond the Prairie's weary miles,
Beyond the mountains' rocky piles,
Right through the desert, stretching blank
Along Nevada's eastern flank,
And o'er the white Sierra's crest,
To the broad waters of the west.
Already the blue air grew dun.
And crimsoned the October sun ;
Already, on the steep ascents.
Had coming Winter pitched his tents.
And mustering all his savage host,
With biting gale and burning frost.
Far forth, by howling wind and rain.
Sent down his challenge to the plain.
Where waits the Leader, whose right hand
Shall lift an ensign o'er that band.
And lead them to the sunset land ?
The darkened sky grows yet more dun,
Grows redder the October sun.
126 THE PEAIRIE CAMP.
And down the thick air's deeper gloom,
Its setting seems the eve of Doom.
Ah, well they know, who linger there,
The meaning of that darkening air,
And what Doom's-eve its dusky robe
Winds round the sunset's burning globe !
Night, with its overarching tomb,
Shuts down, and lo ! the dawn of Doom !
One lurid ring, from left to right.
Round all the east, involves the night.
A ring of fire, and fiery cloud.
That, like the Torturer's Iron Shroud,
Rolls in and in, its narrowing walls,
While dov^^n, and down, the dun roof falls !
Ha ! by that closing ring they read
The red invader's fatal speed,
Bannered like Israel's desert flight
With cloud by day and fire by night !
Where rides the Leader ? The swift wrath
Is rolling on his very path ;
Or, if he lingers far aback,
Sweeps out the records of their track.
THE PRAIEIE CAMP. ;[27
Redder and redder, to the sky,
It heaves its lurid arms on high ;
Darker and darker glooms the vault,
To starless horror, in the assault
Of billowy clouds, whose volumes vast
Snow down black ashes, hurtling past.
From point to point, rise towering higher.
In beacon splendor of wild Fire,
The signal torches, that betray
The vortex of a fiercer fray ;
Where, lingering in its headlong flow,
To gloat above a nobler foe.
It deepens to a more intense
And terrible magnificence.
There, standing long unscathed before,
Some forest kings, all bearded hoar.
Have roused the demons of the fire,
To wilder bursts of fell desire —
Arrears of their vindictive ire.
The crackling boughs that, as it came,
Rolled upward, molten into flame.
Fall crumbling down like that red snow
That showered on Dante's world of woe.
128 TH'B PEA IE IE CAMP,
Coiled round the giant trunks, anon.
The serpent flames run circling on,
And o'er the topmost spire have flung
The hiss of many a cloven tongue ;
Till, robbed of royal robe and crown,
One here, and there, goes tottering down.
And naked, burning to the heart,
Alone, the mightiest stand apart,
Tossing their blazing arms on high,
In dumb appealing to the sky.
Like awful Martyrs ere they die !
The gallant Leader, where ' oh wher#?
On that scorched desert of despair,
A crumpled cinder black and bare ?
Or flying through the lurid gloom,
Dogged by the fire-hounds to his doom ?
The anxious voyageurs gaze in vain,
Across the fiery-girdled plain,
Or listen through the wakeful camp,
To hear a fleet steed's charging tramp.
They only see the lurid belt
Drawn inward, as the broad leagues melt
THE PEAIRIE CAMP. |29
Before that desolating breath —
That rustling of the wings of death !
They only hear the distant cry
Of wild-birds, wailing through the sky,
And now the long, unearthly bark
Of wolves sent trooping down the dark,
And the deep jar that shakes the plain,
Where sweej^s the Bison's hurricane.
All night a million tongues of fire
That, ever nearer, fluttered higher.
In one infernal Pentecost,
Seemed gibbering over something lost !
At length the struggling morning came.
And turned to cloud the distant flame ;
While, nearer, marched its baflled ranks,
Roaring along the river-banks,
As mad to see the white camp gleam
Securely, by the guardian stream.
Ha ! laughed they not with evil glee,
To see what now the voyageurs see !
Hemmed in and cheated by the flood
The red-winged fiend has cleared the wood !
J30 THE PEAIEIE CAMP.
And leaps from groaning tree, to earth,
Clapping his million hands in mirth,
Licking the long grass from the sod
And burning like an angry god.
Where is the dauntless Leader ! where ?
To teach their hands to do and dare.
And snatch them from this hour's despair 1
With eager will, and nerve that strains,
They strike their tents and pile their wains.
While yet the last green rood remains ;
And turn the frantic cattle towards
The shelter of the river-fords ;
Then thronging by the watery marge,
Await the last decisive charge.
*' Hurr li !'' How wild a yell there broke
Above the rolling flame and smoke —
The long glad vv^hoop that well declares
The fierce joy of the Delawares.
He comes ! the Leader comes at last,
His steed careering like the blast;
Right onward through the roaring lire
That leaps and writhes with baffled ire •,
THE PEAIEIE CAMP. ^31
And close behind him, side by side,
His ponderous Leech and tawny Guide.
"Hurrah !" The welkin, reeking hot,
Rings with their shout and volleying shot,
The mingled cheer, and signal-round.
To lead their Leader, lost and found !
No gladder throng may goodly hap
Find clustered in Home's sunny lap,
When children, by the household-fire.
Greet newly the long-wandering sire,
Than theirs, amid that world of flame.
When the beloved Leader came.
Short time for greeting ; with one charge
They dashed across the burning marge,
Where trampled grass, along their path.
Disarmed the fire of half its wrath ;
And o'er the black unbounded plain,
They took their joyful march again.
132 THE PRAIEIE CAMP.
SEQUEL TO THE PRAIEIE CAMP.
Pale Freedom in her 'leaguered camp,
Her forehead with its blood-sweat damp,
Sits by the willows drooping low^,
Beside the Kansas' mournful flow,
A childless Mother in distress,
A Widow in the wilderness.
Her children fled, or by her side,
In the young bloom of strength a»d pride,
Fell, bleeding for her sake, and died.
Smote down by ruffians foul with grime —
The eraseless blot of every crime.
All round her, over plain and dell,
Roars the red fire of Slavery's hell,
One lurid blast whose volumed swell
Has mown her golden harvest down.
Devoured the homes of Lawrence town,
And swept the cherished rights of Man
Into black ashes where it ran.
THE PRAIRIE CAMP. J33
Missouri's dregs of villain blood,
The old Palmetto's traitor-brood,
And Georgia's ruffians ; with the scum
Of all their Southern Scoundreldom —
Sped on by Northern slaves, and knaves,
Who have defiled their Fathers' graves.
And cast the taint of bestial shame
On their dead Mothers' sacred name —
More foul than even the " ravening" Sire
Of their dark spirits, could desire —
Devour that goodly land like fire.
And blacken deeper the dark page
That bears the crime-blots of this age.
By deeds whose mearmess would debase
The horse-thief Pawnee in his chase.
And whose sheer horror, to behold.
Might turn the prairie Wolf's blood cold.
While Freedom's sons, whose blithe advance
Gave life to all that broad expanse.
Who planted in the virgin soil
A glorious Future, by their toil-
Are ringed and scorched by that red hell —
Where waits the Leader, born to quell
134 THE PKAIRIE CAMP.
Its burning marcli, and trample out
The fell flame — charging with a shout ?
Not where the great Dome lends her flag
To swathe the whelps of Slavery's hag,
And cowards sneak with bludgeoned hand
To smite the purest of our land ;
Not where the White House — once a home
For laureled Honor — has become
A den of thieves from law exempt,
The vortex of a world^s contempt.
Not in the coffle ranks of those
Who count Oppression's foes their foes,
Whose leader's old gray head has on
No wreath, from grateful Freedom won ;
Nor in that small and chosen fold,
To alien-hate and Slavery sold,
Whose moral wisdom, faint and dim,
Stands sponsor, as their patronym.
No ! But the South, whose poisoned lees,
And bitter scum, flow off with these,
Has left for us the pure red w^ine
Of her best blood of " old lang syne" —
THE PEAIEIE CAMP. ^35
Fremont ! the Leader— born to quell
The insurgent fires of Slavery's hell.
He comes ! thank God, we wait no more !
" Hurrah !" the wide air feels the roar
Of that loud cheer which millions pour,
Who mingle in the fiery chg^rge
Across the f rairie's burning marge,
To trample out the invading flame,
Or backward scourge it whence it came —
To wipe the forehead, torture-damp,
Of Freedom, in her rescued camp.
Replant upon the blackened sod
Her golden seeds, for Man and God,
And rear again her fruitful vine
Broad bowered where millions might recline,
And the great Future, glad and free,
Shall celebrate her jubilee.
They stood together on a hoary peak
Of the mid-mountains ; famine in their eyes,
And the deep lines of want on brow and cheek,
A ghastly brotherhood, grown pale and weak,
In their long battle with the rocks and skies !
" Swear !" cried their Chieftain's voice, above the
Of antheming winds, resounding through the bleak
Rock-chambers of the hills ; old memories
That wakened sights of horror and despair.
Deepened the solemn cadence of his speech ;
" Ye bold companions of my perils, swear.
That come what may, in hunger's utmost reach.
Ye lift no hand of brother upon brother.
But rather will die with, than live upon, each other."
THE OATH. 137
*' So help me God !" Their mountain altar rung
As with one voice to that wild covenant.
The icy crags, like horns of silver, flung
The vow to their far brothers, out among
The caverns, where the wolf coiled, cold and
Who heard and shuddered with new dreams of
The hollow caves, with their sepulchral tongue,
Proclaimed it to the desert, and it stung
The desert with more famine. " Help me God !"
And God did help them in the wilderness.
Desert and crag, and wolves athirst for blobd,
Howled their unsated hunger and distress.
As the pale band moved firmly to their goal,
Where to the vine-clad hills Pacific's waters roll.
Swear ! ye who feed upon our human life,
Who have drawn out \h.Q red blood from the
Of haggard women, by your godless gains—
The pale, thin maiden and the blighted wife,
138 THE OATH,
Starving upon your justice ! thou whose knife
Is at the throat of the robbed emigrant,
To carve still deeper what scant flesh remains —
Swear ! ye who, w^hen the hounded fugitives pant
Northward, still clanking their half-shattered
Bark on their track, the veriest hounds of all ;
And you who keep your savage carnival,
Fed fat on unbought labor's blood and brains !
Swear, that no more ye will pollute earth's sod
With anthropophagy ; and so help you God !
BACKING OF FRIENDS-
FROM AN INCIDENT IN FREMONt's LIFE.
Do you ask me, hardy brothers,
Toilers at the wheel and plow,
Men of pith who salt your gruel
By the sweat-drops of your brow,
" Men of thought and men of action,"
*' Bone and sinew" of the land —
Who for this great country's Captain
HsLS my heart, and vote, and hand,-
"I shall answer, I shall tell you,"
" Live or perish, sink or swim,"
I will vote for my good Captain ;
He backed me, and I'll back him !
X40 BACKING OF FRIENDS.
Eastward of the Inland Ocean,
Near a mountain's frozen peak,
Toiling through the wild Cordilleras,
Once my heart and limbs grew weafc.
" Let me die !" I said, '' my Captain ;
Let me die ! I can not go !"
0, how brother-like he answered,
" Die ? my noble fellow ! no /"
And he bound me on his shoulders,
As my failing eyes grew dim,
O'er the crag, on knees blood-dripping;
He hacked me^ and Fll hack him !
O, I saw him when our brother —
Now who sleeps upon the trail.
Through the night of snow and tempest
Was brought dying, cold and pale — ■
How with action prompt and tender.
And a woman's melting eye.
He made famine seem less bitter,
Less a bitter thing to die ;
But, I thought, this man was gentle,
I a hlouse — ah, foolish whim !
BACKING OP FEIENDS. 14x
On his red knees, like a brother,
He backed me^ and I'll back him I
All who served him learned to love him.
More than life, should peril call ;
They were equal who were faithful,
Black and white, rich, poor, and all.
By his words for honest labor,
For free Laborer and soil,
By the vast wealth opened to us
In his own unwearying toil.
All true hearts with me may answer,
" Here is Honor's synonym ;
When he served the poor and needy,
He backed me, and FU back him !"
CROSSING THE WAHSACH
Snow ! snow ! snow !
Before, behind, above, and below,
On rock and mountain and forest tree,
In valley and canon, pit, and rift.
And through the air in a merciless drift,
A powdery smoke, that seemed to sift
To the very bones, that none could see
Whither they went, nor where might be
The wallowing path of the Leader's feet,
Right up the mountain barrier, beat.
Snow ! snow ! snow !
" To the council, hardy warriors ! ho !
OBOSSING THE WAH8ACH. 143
What word, my Braves, of the better way
To scale the Wahsach's perilous edge
And through the gulfs of the looming ledge
To cleave our path, like a rending wedge ?
'Tis deadly to go and death to stay —
Speak, my Delawares ! shrewd to say
What path is best in a dubious track,
Where the hungry wolf would turn him back."
" Snow ! snow ! snow !
My brave Commander, we can not go !
Pits under pits in the white-dark lie,
Gale upon gale is the tempest's shriek,
Cliff upon cliff is the mountain's peak,
And the ridges beyond are sharp and bleak,
The treacherous gulfs will cheat the eye,
Where the struggling hunter will sink and die —
And none shall find his bed in the snow ;
My brave Commander, we can not go."
" Snow ! snow ! snow !
Its terrible barrier well I kno%v,
I see hut that in its whirlinor dance—
But — ' can not V — where did my warrior learn
144 CEOSSING THE WAHSACH.
That woman's word ? or how to turn
His back to a peril dark and stern ?
We can, we must^ we will advance,
And the Father above shall guide our chance —
Come on ! and follow the forward beat
Of my tireless club and my naked feet !"
Snow ! snow ! snow !
Around, behind, above, and below,
In a whirling cloud of tireless smoke
Over drift and chasm and looming crag,
Where a mountain goat would fail to drag
His powerless ie^i — ashamed to lag,
They climbed the cliffs as the measured stroke
And tramp of the dauntless Chieftain broke ^
A path to life, and led them on
To the Home-like fires of the Parawan
1 a «
DEFERRED, NOT LOST.
In the war against Oppression,
In the battle on the wrong,
When the armies of the Alien
Seem unconquerably strong,
And the Elect a moment waver
Chilled by waning fortune's frost,
Mark the word !
Victory is but deferred,
Freedom's champions are immortal
As the living God they serve,
* So© Frembmt's Lsttelr to GoV^br SobinBon.
146 "DEFEEEED, NOT LOST."
Not a blood-drop falls to perish,
Not an uttered truth shall swerve
From its renovating mission,
In her fire-tongued Pentecost,
To her word
Victory may be deferred,
But not lost.
All the Martyrs of old Ages
Have bequeathed that faith to this,
Lifting, through the flames, their beakers
Of imperishable bliss !
Rome, and Smithfield, and Geneva,
Smoking with hell's holocaust.
Shriek the word,
That our hopes, though, long deferred,
Are not lost.
All the legions of the Persian
In that memorable Pass,
Piled to swell the mausoleum
Of sublime Leonidas,
Made "Thermopylae a watchword,
Down through all the ages toss'd —
*'DEFEREED, NOT LOST." 147
Teachiag that her reign, deferred,
Is not lost.
The grim courage of our Fathers,
Fighting backwards down the hill,
While their burning homes at Charlestown
Only fired their dauntless will,
Speaks from all their lowly tombstones
Worn by time, and over-moss'd,
The same word,
That a victory long deferred,
Is not lost.
Freedom's martyr-souls in Kansas,
Well who fou[;ht alone their fight,
Till the Land's inaugurate Traitor
With her wronged Arm crushed their might,
For their burning homes in Lawrence,
Yet shall teach, at Slavery's cost,
The old word,
That their hour is but deferred,
And not lost !
"DEFEREEB, NOT LOST."
They may perish in their bondage ;
But a lightning flash would leap —
From their blood-smoke rolling upward —
Through Oppression's cavernous deep,
And explode its fatal fire-damp,
Thundering o'er your ruined boast,
This wild word :
In their victory not deferred
Ye are lost !
Old Poets singing to their lyres of gold,
True golden Epics, in an iron age,
Have made their heroes. God abov^e made mine — •
A living canticle of power and peace :
And I have spoken to yon not in vain,
My countrymen ! if here I have not marr'd
His better singing ; striving as I may
To interpret, in the words of luiman song,
That burning Epos.
If my birchen torch —
The simple lamp of hands inured to toil,
Have caught one sparkle from the Signal Fires
That blaze along a Hero's mountain march,
So kindling with their glory that some eyes.
Led by the nearer twinkle, turn to read
The unborrowed brightness, and forget the lamp
That flared their lids up — it is not in vain
That, for one new moon's rounding, I lay down
The sickle for the signal, the keen scythe
For the rude cythern — for it seems, again.
That miracle of the ages — a True Man,
Has risen among us — one in whose large soul
Hero and Human Brother have struck hands.
And Worth and Worship mingle sisterly.
Then only, when the world has need of him,
God sends the Hero, and his stature. marks
The measure of his mission ; for, what means
This, which we crown as Hero, but the sum
And concentration of a People's need,
Fed grandly, to repletion of its wants —
The incarnate answer of a people's prayer,
Performing God's high purpose ?
Show the Man,
Towering preeminent above his peers,
And we have witness of a giant work —
The clear prediction of what Heaven intends
In this Man's generation.
Show the Work,
The vast necessities of Humanity —
Some hideous monster of the moral world
To be scourged out, and driven back to hell —
Some wrong's dark inroad upon human rights
To be repelled— or a wide continent
Of primal Chaos, waiting for the hand
Of a great conqueror to subdue its wilds
To the broad reign of Order — and for each
Ripe need, the Heavens have ripened the right Man.
Him choose, sustain, and help, or the ripe need
Grows rotten ripe, and the uplifted Arm
Of Benediction falls in judgment wrath-!
This Land has uttered the prophetic moan
Of its great want, heard faintly through the shout
Of boastful clamors, and the noisy whirl
Of its sublime activities, too long —
Whole decades long, while parasite Misrule
Grew fat upon her vitals. She has cast
The name of God, and the diviner Law,
Out of her councils ; for the wicked rule,
And Mammon sits with Anarchy and Crime,
In her high places — and the people mourn.
One cloud has deepened its broad thunder-folds.
From a small handbreath to a mountain mass,
Behind whose volumed blackness the faint light
Has struggled long and fitfully ; but the Man
Came not, to answer the mute questioning
Of pained hearts, whether in the lurid sky
Dawned the new day of Liberty and Peace,
Or garnered lightnings fluttered their red wings,
Precursive, for the last destroying swoop !
When the night gathered, and the perilous fire
Stooped imminent, the need produced its Man.
Then rose our martyrs whom the world knows
Whose names have been a hissing in the Land,
The moral champions of outraged Right,
¥/hose names shall be a glory in the Land;
Their great, indignant hearts, with fiery beat,
Hurled renovating pulses through the veins
Of the sin-fevered and sin-torpid mass.
Till the Land's hunger- cry becomes a shout
That will not hush till Freedom's right shall reign.
Perjured, and stained with every crime — itself
1 he crowning crime of crimes — dark Slavery
Has rolled her turbid waters, wave on wave,
Over the smiling South-Land, laying waste
Her Eden gardens, till the wolves come back
And howl among her desolated homes !
New lands, new victims, and new devotees
Must fall before her, feeding, still in vain,
Her still insatiate famine, till, forsworn
The oaths she took in solemn covenant —
Which,, our deep sin in making, bates no jot
Of her deep perjury in forswearing — she
Leaps her Missouri bound, as lightly as fire,
Cruel as death, and false as nether hell.
And holds young Kansas by her bleeding throat !
Now by the Throne, and Him who sits thereon !
And by our Souls, we swear, weighing our words
With finest scruples, swear, that the black fiend,
Shall lose her clutch from that fair Sufierer,
And print no track of her polluted foot
On God's free soil, our heritage, again, —
Or perish where she stands !
This, if I read
The indignation of free hearts aright.
Is their deep vow and purpose, this the work,
One task of many worthy, which demands
And prophesies the Coming Man, once more.
Let not the word-strong moralist, whose words
Have sent true pulses through these working souls,
Debar their working. It is theirs to braid
Organic lightning, from his moral light
Whose limbless flame may spread diffusive life,
In broad unbolted flashes, but has need
Of the Strong Arm to work its fiery will
Upon one purpose — needs the pointed steel
Of sword-armed Themis, or the dreader edge
' — By Duty called and Freedom sanctified —
Of red Bellona, to call down its fire
In triple bolts on hoar Iniquity.
The imperative need its index finger lifts.
Pointing aloft, to mark the magnitude
Of Heaven's Elect, the stature of his soul.
Amid the ripening of the mighty Want,
We turn to ask, where ripens the right Man ?
And find him, tracked by all his glowing deeds,
— -A great life's-labor for his pupilage —
Still learning right Rule in God's Normal School,
The wilderness and mountain, where of old
The peerless renovators of the world
Took their stern lessons.
He, through giant toils
And more gigantic perils, set his name
Upon the everlasting mountain-tops.
And made the desert vocal with his praise.
In the wide waste of trackless wilderness,
He asked the silent stars above his head, [him ;
*' Whither ? and where?" and the stars answered
High on the snow-capp'd mountain, whose abyss
No line and plummet sounded, he inquired
Of the thin Air, and the thin Air replied,
" Thus far, oh, soul-winged Eagle ! thou hast
In the high places of the Universe."
He bade the homeless wilds to give him meat,
And the wilds fed him, and the river-springs
Brought water to him in the lonely place.
Till all th^ wilds grew famished and athirst,
And Hunger walked the dreary blank with him !
The virgin Realms that slept in solitude,
Or only woke to the wild whoop of men
Fiercer than wolves — fair Realms as beautiful
As Tirzah of the Hills, and terrible
As the ranked squadrons of a bannered army !-
His hand, to the swart hand of Labor, gave,
As a young Bride adorned for her espousals.
The Golden Gate of the new Ophir rolled
Unjarring on its hinges to let in
Our swarming vigor, at his magic word,
The " open sesame" of his fiery valor :
And that vast hollow in the giant hand
Of our world-beckoning Continent, where now
The fleshly Saints build up their Canaan —
With all its grandeur of eternal hills,
And beauty of green meadows, and that deep
Where the sad billows of the Inland Sea,
Salt as the grave, break on the Utah rocks,
And whiten their dark bases — first to him
Unveiled the secrets of its lonely depths.
And changed wild Fable into wondrous Fact.
When the grim Lion of the Isles came down-
Warily creeping from his northern lair—
Where sat the jeweled Princess of the West,
Leaned on her wliite Nevada's ermined arnns —
Or chained, or charmed, upon her virginal hills,
With old Pacific inoanino^ at her feet,
By chance the keen eye of the voyager saw
The unsheathing claws, his quick ear heard the purr,
Prelusive to the leap — and his quick hand
Snapped the corroded fetter, and set free
Her " Beauty" from the spoiler, and the " Beast."
The baffled Jesuit, and the lynx-eyed Spy,
And the false Leader of a cruel band,
Muttered vain curses on their swift defeat.
The foe, far off in their delightful dreams,
But near at hand, with his mysterious Glass
Reading their horoscope— from studious toil
Leapt up, full armed, and snatched the glowing
There Science put on valor, and the Stars
Fought against Sisera !
For his swift success,
Where to have lingered had been final loss,
This Nation, jealous of her Ocean Sire — -
By all she hopes for in her proud expanse,
By all she won in that victorious Ride,
Owes to this Man her dearest gratitude.
Humanity no less, in that broad land
Stands debtor to him for a good work done.
When other hands were forging darker chains
For the fair Captive, his shook off the bolts.
And, by his voice in Freedom's trial hour,
Her Golden Hills were rescued from the clank
Of Slavery's chain, the snap of Slavery's whip ;
And unborn millions shall rise up in joy.
To call him Blessed as they call him Great.
His life has gone up to its regal seat,
Beyond the reign of failure and mischance —
Even in this pupilage for a vaster work,
Complete in greatness of a task well done.
We call him to that work, for our Land's Good,
Nor offer laurels greener than his own.
The idolatrous peoples have bowed down before
The Golden Calf of Commerce — bent so low,
They see not the dark stains of human blood
Upon its horrid altar, and forget
The living God of justice and of truth.
We call our Leader from his Sinai peaks,
To bring the Law ; not less the Eternal Code,
Than that grave record, read in fathom snows,
When the whole mountain smoked, and ever)
That touched it died !^ — we call him, so to advance
To him one little of the mighty debt
We owe the Future, and the Future him.
Her myriad voices, and imploring hands,
Far-seen in clear prevision, supplicate
By all she may be, or may fail to be,
That we be faithful in this fearful hour,
And do that justice to a people's hope.
That mercy to the peeled and trodden down,
Which is but lovelier justice — laid on us
By solemn mortmain of the immortal dead,
By the stern crisis of the eventful Now,
And all the periled Future in our hands !
We call the Leader gladly, for we know
The startling summons can not be in vain.
Whatever fate or favor, frowns or smiles.
The millions gather round his glowing page,
* See Bigelow's Fremont, page 869.
And catch some inspiration from his fire.
His stirring Name, heard far away before,
Is not an echo, but a pealing shout —
A Power among our jubilating hills —
A Sunrise on our plains and valley-paths.
The very coward, though he shrink and quake
At the dim story of his daring march,
Will feel some flutter of exulting blood,
Tending to nobler manhood, evermore,
To see the Hero trampling down despair.
And treading firmly to sublime Success,
Where the tough brute reeled stiffly back, and died,
And the hard savage dare not follow him !
This age, among her manifold wealths and wants,
Had need of him, to scourge the craven blood
Of men, grown paltering hucksters, or sleek-
Young foplings, toying with a lady's fan.
In perfum.ed parlors — to some dash of health
And manly hardihood, which alone make stuff
For manly souls, and brains for manly thought.
The stern, unmeant rebuke of his great life,
Stings idle natures lapped in moneyed ease,
And plucking the ripe fruits of honor's tree
From boughs bent to them — like a goading whip
In a strong hand, till latent nobleness
Leaps to the cheek, and lights the hopeful flush
Of mingled shame and better purposes —
Or all the innate dastard stands confest,
In plotting envy and a powerless rage.
This life were worthy of its great renown
If, ending here, it lent no richer fruit
Than its high lessons for the young and brave — *
Of modest worth and golden temperance,
Heart's purity, and reverential soul — ■
For strong oppression an instinctive hate —
A natural sympathy for wronged and weak-
Crowning intrepid valor, and firm will,
And a wise mind, that shakes familiarly
The hand of Nature in her secretest home.
But even exuberant Fancy were too poor
To tell its vast beneficence of worth
To that Grand Future he has served so well,
When the swift tides of human life have rolled
Their endless billows over all the West-
No w o'er the Rocky Mountains leaping white —
Now o'er the stesp Nevada, to the sea ;
From where St. Helen lifts her fiery horn,
And hoary Hood flings back on Oregon
The sunrise gold, from his eternal snows.
To the Sierras of the utmost South,
That guard the Land of Gold — his memory
Shall flourish greener than their viny slopes,
And purer than their never-trodden peaks.
The endless harp-strings of the captive Zeus,
— Old thunder-god forlorner, at his task,
Than Saturn in his exile — pining out
His lightning soul upon the tremulous wire,
Shall whisper in one breath, from sea to se j,
The Name we blazon on our banner-foius ;
And the chained dragon of the flying car,
Rousing the echoes with a thunder tramp,
From bald Katahdin to St. Francis' Bay,
Will give it with a shriek to all the hills ;
And mount to mount shall toss our banner-cry,
" Free men, free soil, Fremont, and Victory !"
Irinrt nf tjjf Iniisr nf Janii ;
THREE YEARS IN JERUSALEM,
IHE BAYi ©F FOmroS FIILAnFI^,
The Book is a large 12mo. vohime, of 500 pages, and is embellished
with a steel plate Portrait of the
lEAyTIFii JE¥fiSH MMWrn, .
an Engraved Title Page, and three large, splendid engravings, illustrating
CHRIST RAISING THE WIDOW'S SON,
THE BAPTISM OF OUR SAVIOUR,
AND THE CRUCIFIXION,
from entire new designs, and executed by the first artists in the countr}',
making all together one of the most beantifnl and interesting books ever
offered to the American public.
The Author and Publishers being anxious to place the work in the hands
of every person t' at is able to read, have fixed the price at
THE I.01V SUM OF #1 25.
» ^ ^ ' •
From the Christicm Advocate o.nd Journal.
" This is certainly among the most delightful volumes we have ever
read. It is very ably and riiost eloquently written. No novel or romance
could be more efficient in its effect on the imagination, or the affections
of the heart ; while its facts and incidents are in keeping w^itli the evan-
gelical records. It is a book which one would read again and again, for
the delightful and sanctifying emotions it a^^akens in one who feels and
realizes his personal interest in the *' story of tlie r-ross.''
From the Dispatch, Richmond, Va.
'' Jesus was man, as w^ell as God ! In this book He is seen, conversed
with, eaten with as a man ! " The book presents him in the social and
' moral relations of life, with exemplary fidelity 1o the Scripture narrative,
and yet with a freshness which falls upon the mind like a new^ and thrill-
ing narrative, and a life-likeness in every lineament which we feel, must
be true to the original. In truth, the readers, no matter how conversant
^ w4th the sacred writings, is drawn along with breathless interest, and the
I very depths of his heart reached and stirred into uncontrollable emotion.
^ Outside of the Holy Gospels themselves, we have never seen so moving
*i a picture of the life of the Man of SorroAv, nor any representation of the
^ wondrous beauty of the Divine character, so touching and so true.
;, This book will he sent by mail, fostage paid, to any part of the United
L States on receipt of the price.
V l^ Agents Avanted in all parts of the country, to sell the above work-
^ Terms liberal. Address,
!^ DAYTON & BURDICK,
^^ No. 29 ANN STREET, N. Y.
SEIVD FOR OWE OR MORE COPIES
A USEFUL ORNAMENT FOR EVERY FAMILY.
Just Published, is a large and elegant Plate fur Framing, containing seven
distinct engraved views — the memorable Prayer in large ornamental let-
ters ; also a .
or an arrangement of the Old Testament Scriptures in Chronological Order,
for the purpose of inducing the lovers of Divine Truth to a more faithful
reading of them daily, consecutive portions once every year — the whole
surrounded by a unique border, and covering a surface of nearly
FOUR HUNDRED SQUARE INCHES,
It is a work that commends itself to all classes, Pich and Poor. It
forms an appropriate ornament for the cottage of the lowly and the-col-
tage of the rich ; and to bring it Avithin the means tif all, the price lias
been fixed at only
TWENTY-FIVE CENTS A COPY.
Or Jive copies for Oxe Dollar, twelve copies for Two Dollars, and twenty
copies for Three Dollars, put o\\ rollers, [ivhlch ivill secure them from
injury,) and mailed to order,
p^ Money for one or more copies of the '' Lord's Prayer," inclosed
in a letter, with the name and post office address of the sender, may be
forwarded at our risk.
In order to bring this useful ornament within the reach of the poor,
any of our friends who are willing to supply their neighbors with it at
a price they can afi'ord to pay, can have
ONE HUNDRED COPIES
at the unparalled low price of
This affords a rare chance for useful and profitable employment. There
is not probably a single county in the Union but in wliich a thousand
copies may be sold ; and in many counties several thousana copies may
THE SECOND EDITION NOW READY.
Send orders at once and secure the district desired. Address, (Postpaid,)
DAYTON & BURDICK, Publishers, i
/kr^ No. 29 ANN STREET, Corner of Nassau, N. Y.^l^^